One Foot in Front of the Other

We try to “stand on the shoulders of giants”

To follow in the footsteps of those before

To learn from their reservoir of experiences

Learn from their mistakes

Build on their successes

Whilst creating something



To make our own mark upon this world

To reach heights never heretofore reached

Without falling.

Without stalling.

Without seeing anyone as beneath

Or losing the run of ourselves

Forgetting who we are

Or who we were

For those people will determine

Who we’re yet to be


Keep moving

Keep walking

Keep putting one foot in front of the other

Regardless of the struggle

For when we stop moving

We turn into another

Another person.

A shadow of ourselves

Then the doubt will smother






As we drink ourselves to forget

What we should’ve done

And sink ourselves in regret

Over what we could’ve done.


No good ever comes of this.



Wish that I could’ve frozen time

Halted it completely in its tracks

Made it that the bells wouldn’t chime

That you wouldn’t fade to black

Wish I could’ve wrapped you

And your fragile little frame,

Stooped in humble service

Like a perpetual prayer,

up in cotton wool

In bubble wrap

In my arms

Breathe fresh life

Into your lungs

But cancer had set its trap

Aggressively it had struck

And your body slowly wasted away

To mere skin & bone

As if you were made to atone

For some ancient sin

You’d buried deep within

A thought I scarce can entertain

For it would stain

Your memory

Your legacy

You were too pure

Too gentle

For this earth

Hope you find the peace

You’re looking for

To make your sacrifices



Wish that I could freeze time

Halt it completely in its tracks

Get a marker & draw a line,

Across which you cannot pass

For fear that you might get older

Grow up too soon

Lose your childlike innocence

For you’re too young to shoulder

Such burdens.

If that makes any sense.

Put together your very own

Wardrobe to Narnia

Where you’ll never grow old

Or succumb to disease

Where you’ll never be told

What to do

Or have to appease

You’ll sit on the throne

Guided by the great lion

And rule your kingdom

With kindness and compassion

Love and wisdom

Strength & dignity

For the whole of your life








4 weeks ago, on Thursday the 14th of February, the most romantic; love-laden day of the year, a light went out. That light was my mum and the darkness which swallowed her up, our familiar foe: cancer. A slight woman at the best of times, the cancer proved more than her increasingly frail body could bear with the 1st & last course of chemo leading us down the palliative care route. The care; attention & love she received in the wonderfully inviting; open spaced and welcoming environs of Esker Ri Nursing Home, Clara was 2nd to none and gave her much comfort in what turned out to be the final few months of her life.

A beacon of light in a dark and murky world, my mum offered guidance; insight; wisdom or just an alternative perspective to everyone who came to her for advice; direction or simply a listening ear. She often dubbed this alternative perspective as being a devil’s advocate if you will, often making you look at things from a different viewpoint.

She was an oasis of calm; consistency and serenity, a in an often chaotic; confusing and constantly changing world, drawing you out of yourself with her own quiet; patient and gentle manner. The comfort; solace and courage to go on you would receive as a result couldn’t be measured or bought or paid for and you’d walk away from her nearly always feeling better about yourself. Just like the master cards adds say: “priceless!” And she was priceless; eternally minded and pure of heart with absolutely no ulterior or selfish motives. She served others & put them first because she found pleasure in it, never looking for anything in return, simply because it was the right thing to do.

Perhaps it was because she was grounded with a deep; unwavering and quietly prayerful faith which found its expression in her founding the Eucharistic Adoration 25 years ago which has touched, god knows, how many people’s lives and has left an enduring legacy that will last far beyond her 77 years She just had this peace about her and you always knew what you were going to get when you came to talk to her which would put you at ease straight away

Indeed, she was many things to many people as the apostle Paul says in Romans: “That by some means she might save some”. And she saved many folks along the way. A loyal; generous and kind friend, a trustworthy; diligent and caring colleague & nurse, a deep thinking; reflective and talented wordsmith, a compassionate; emphatic and wise counsellor and an incredibly loving; nurturing; encouraging and patient mum and sisters who inspired and spurred us all on to be true to ourselves and do whatever makes us happy.

Triona, my mum, our mum and friend and confidante will be deeply; sadly, and greatly missed by the many people who knew her or who had the privilege of having met her throughout the course of their journey and hers. The lives of her colleagues; friends; family and neighbours will never be the same again. Our hearts are broken yet enlarged for having had her in our lives. Her month’s mind will take place this coming Saturday evening at 7.30pm in St. Coleman’s Church, Mucklagh, Co. Offaly for those of you who would still like to pay their respects to her.


Side by side I journey, on the long road home
I do not travel solo, I do not go alone
If I think the walk is only mine, how foolish I can be
It takes another step with mine to help me truly see

Side by side we journey, just one step at a time
We cannot look to far ahead or many mountains climb
Just day by day we travel, and hour by hour we take
Letting each moment happen, letting our senses wake

Side by side we travel, along life’s bumpy road
It’s not easy on our own, carrying a heavy load
Let us share it out among us, there is no need for pride
When our burden’s lightened, our heart-strings are untied

If we just walk together, knowing how we’ve tried
Remembering our experiences, remembering times we’ve cried
We may never mind the loneliness, never feel the pain
Because we know the journey, has not always been in vain.”

Copyright of Caitriona Hume



She sees the tears

But doesn’t ask me why.

Just says, “Daddy are you okay?”

With her sensitive spirit

And her searching eyes.

She lifts a chip from the plate

Pushing it into my mouth

Sits herself up beside me

As in her own way she tries

To comfort and placate

My bruised and broken heart

Causing a smile to start

Breaking through.

In spite of my best efforts

To dwell in my melancholy

To remain there.

In my despair.

She’s a source of pain relief

Our very own paracetamol

A natural born entertainer

With energizer batteries

And a massive heart of gold

A wisdom unseen

And a wise old soul

Well beyond her years

Devoid of all the fears

We build up as we get older

The load we carry on our shoulders

I wish not to inflict

My own anxieties

And improprieties

Upon her and our little bird

I yearn for them

To be honest and be free

To travel and to see

The world. And to be

Themselves. Their full selves



‘Ye had plans for me’

I know you did.

Hopes. Expectations. Prayers.

Plans for a better life.

A pensionable job

A stronger faith

Plans that have robbed

Me of time.

Plans that have always proved

Just a little bit of my reach.

A little hard to teach

An alien such as me


God knows. I’ve had some plans too

Lots of plans


Some absurd

Plans to save souls

Preach the Word

Plans to play roles

On stage occurred

Plans to turn my writings

Into songs

My internal fighting

Meant they didn’t go along


Lofty plans.

Ambitious. Naïve.


Not always realistic


But socially fatalistic.

Kept me in my head

But out of touch

Full of dread

Not up to much


Some plans succeeded

Others didn’t

Some plans impeded

Us. So, I say good riddance

Some plans are needed

To go the distance


Behind the curtains

Lurks the uncertain,

The panic; trepidation and fear

As the boards, you’re about to thread


The assembled hoards fill you with dread

As they seek

To be entertained

They can hardly be blamed


The butterflies in your stomach

do summersaults

The nerves swell and rummage

In full assault

On my senses

My forehead sweats

My knees quake

And hands tremble

My voice breaks

As the audience assembles


So you pull them tightly shut

Till a sliver of light is all that remains

And you hide behind them, but

You peek out through them all the same

Curious and overwhelmed

Furious and concerned

With the public paralysis

Borne of this daily self-analysis


Somewhere along the line

I ended up taking a wrong turn

Lost my way for a while

Thought I’d be able to find

The path back. It’s a concern


Somewhere along the line

My boots got caught in the mud

Got pulled down into the dirt

Thought things would be fine

But ended up stuck in a rut


Somewhere along the line

I got side tracked by my own desires

Took you for granted

Talked to you in rhyme

Burnt myself in those fires


Somewhere along the line

I became a shadow of myself

That loomed large over me

And scared me all the time

Now I just sit on the shelf


Somewhere along the line

I found God. Then lost him again

Or he lost me, I don’t know.

We no longer had designs

On each other. Now there’s pain




“Suffer the little children to come onto me”

Christ said.

And boy have they suffered.

Much more than he ever intended

Much more than a child ever should

Borne out of wedlock

Shame on them!

Tut, tut, tut

So ye thought fit to rip them apart

From their parents

And place them in “religious” institutions

Where they were beaten; raped and abused

With impunity

No consequences

Just immunity

To the offences

Swept under the carpet

Robbed of all their dignity and innocence.

By those meant to protect and nurture them

Those self-same children

Frightened; confused and vulnerable children

Have grown up now

(If they made it beyond the gravestone)

Grown up into angry; weary adults.

Broken and battered

But not defeated


Wary of trusting anyone.

Fearful of physical intimacy

Wary of letting anybody in

Behind the wall.

That high; thick; concrete wall

They’ve erected to protect themselves

From any future; potential hurt

Catholic Church

This is your legacy.

Not one of faith

Not one of love

Or hope

But of pain; fear and bitterness


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