A SHADOW CAST


“Are you John Hume’s son?”

They would inquire,
Once they had caught wind of my surname
“I am”
Came the immediate; proud reply.
“Nothing to do with his namesake John Hume up in the North by any chance”
They would pursue.
Both men of peace. Both much respected.

“I worked with your father when he was Hospital Administrator”
“I was in the Civil Defence with your dad”
“I used to work with him in the court house”
“Ah, I remember working with John in Kilroy’s”
“Didn’t he do the Mater Hospital Pools?”
“He was a good man. A kind man. Always had time for everybody.
Was an absolute gent. Always got things done. Always had a smile
On his face.”

“Who is this man?” I thought to myself
This man they call John Hume
The man with a plan
This man of whom they speak
With such fondness and high regard.
With veneration almost
As though he were a saint
To be revered.
A giant among men
Chosen to walk among us mere mortals
Without equal.
Yet treating everyone equally
Such high standards
Such lofty heights
Such charm and charisma.
I did not really know this man
Nor he me.
He was a stranger to me.
And I to him.
A mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Not a patch on him
Yet cut from his cloth
So something of him
Must have rubbed off on me
Right?!

Yet he loved me unconditionally
Encouraged my talents
Embraced the path I chose to walk,
Even though it wasn’t pensionable
Nor secure
Walking the extra mile with us all
Bending over backwards to support
Always expressed his pride in me,
Via our mutual translator:
My mum. His wife.
He said to her
“I wish I had Ken’s way with words”
I said to her
“I wish I had my dad’s way with people”

You cast a large shadow over us all dad
Spreading far back into a time before I began
Before I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye
Comforting and warm as a thick blanket
Suffocating and inspiring in equal measure.
Your name carried so much substance
And character. Had a gravity to it
So loaded with expectation and history
That I sometimes stumbled under its weight
A weight that I’m only now learning to carry
And embrace.

A rich tapestry of experiences
Sewn together by the same name
By the same man. Bound
Together forever by
The same man’s sorrow
Which made one family, two.
One family’s loss
Became another families birth
Multiplying his legacy
And casting his shadow
Way beyond what he could
Have ever imagined.

Written by Ken Hume
09/10/2015
Copyright of Ken Hume 2015

 

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Consumed By Grace


Grace Anne Mary Hume

You are a gift from God

A new flower bloomed

From just a seed in the womb

Of your adoring mother

You have me smitten with your

Mischievous smile and inquisitive gaze

How your tiny hands firmly grasp the flimsy fabric of my grey jumper

As I walk around the floor singing nursery rhymes

Rubbing your back, patting it to wind you

Your head draped across my left shoulder

Eyes darting round the room, taking everything in

Smiling. Babbling. Cooing.

Then suddenly. Burp. Puck, Bleurgh

All over my shoulder. All over my jeans

All over Mammy’s PJ’s. The couch.

Everywhere.

Evidence of you.

Eau de Puck, your mum’s new fragrance

A relieved smile. A grateful sigh

Now adorn your face.

Or how your deep blue eyes beseech me

Study me. Question me. And know me,

All at once

Whilst you play with your mum

Or tear into your milk with a ravenous hunger

As if it was the last bottle that you’d ever have

Fingers tightly wrapped around mine

In case I dare try to take the bottle away from you again

 

You consume us Grace

With the cuteness of your face

We are overcome by love

And wonderment for you.

Our present from above

 

Copyright of Ken Hume

21/09/17

THIS TYPE OF HEARTBREAK


 

It’s hard to take

This type of heartbreak

Unfair & unnecessary

And bitter to taste

It doesn’t seem right

This cruel twist of fate

Where is the mercy?

Where is the grace?

 

CHORUS

I know that ye were sick

And I know ye weren’t well

Yet I feel like I’ve been tricked

By this double death knell

I just wasn’t prepared

For this loss

This week of pure hell

This type of heartbreak

Casts a dizzying spell

 

These 2 pieces of my heart

Whose shoes I once laced

2 cornerstones of my life

Snapped up by the angels

Departed in such haste

Just over a week

The longest 8 days

Of my life. I weep

 

CHORUS

I know that ye were sick

And I know ye weren’t well

Yet I feel like I’ve been tricked

By this double death knell

I just wasn’t prepared

For this loss

This week of pure hell

This type of heartbreak

Casts a dizzying spell

 

I’m punched in the guts

All over the place

Knocked out to the canvas

I’m lost and I’m dazed

At a complete loss

Now I’m left to chase

Around in circles

Before they are erased

 

CHORUS

I know that ye were sick

And I know ye weren’t well

Yet I feel like I’ve been tricked

By this double death knell

I just wasn’t prepared

For this loss

This week of pure hell

This type of heartbreak

Casts a dizzying spell

 

My battered heart

And my tear stained face

Are left behind to recover

Refresh and retrace

A lifetime of memories

And a happier place

Mum & Dad, how I’ll miss you

Ye have now run ye’re race.

 

Written by Ken Hume

13/09/17

 

 

Insecurity


Insecure

Not so sure

Hypocritical

Hyper critical

You cover your tracks

With verbal attacks

That are unnecessary

Incendiary

That alienate and hurt

That delineate your curt

Words and true attitude

Your absurd views

Insulting platitudes

A bundle of contradictions.

So you place restrictions

On family access to your kids

Their nieces)

You make an ass of yourself trying to keep a lid

Trying to pass yourself as knowing it all.

Who are you trying to kid?

You’re a control freak

Because you don’t allow them to speak

Kind words of encouragement

To your children

as you sit in judgement

Your disparaging remarks

Have cut through to the bone

And left their mark

Upon the hearts of people who care

Who have always been there

But no, you’re the Queen Bee

You reject their help

Because you don’t respect the wealth

Of their experience

You’re afraid of love

Of happiness

You don’t understand how close

A family can be

You can’t stand

Jealous of the love

Your children receive

Of the natural instincts

That make them so distinct

 

Written by Ken Hume

 

2016

In the Name of


 

In the name of the Father,

Son and Holy Spirit

I baptise you

Water poured

On baby’s head

3 times

To sanctify her

Immortal soul

To ensure her

Eternal safety

To embark her

On her spiritual journey

Welcome her

Into the Catholic Church

Is she aware of what’s going on?

Is she completely oblivious?

Does it guarantee any of the above?

I don’t know.

I am torn.

I am conflicted

Between 2 faiths

Long evicted

From my thinking

 

 

Therein lies the rub

For I do not want her

To be faithless

Or without belief

Either in a higher power

Or herself.

For I know how empty

And hopeless

This can be.

 

SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETY SIX


Ken Hume

Seven hundred and ninety-six

Barely born, young innocent souls

Never given a chance at life

Born out of wedlock,

Born out of luck

Considered nothing more than livestock

To be buried ‘neath sewerage; bricks & muck

By the cornerstone & bedrock

Of Ireland, the Catholic Church, stuck

Still in the dark ages

Who heaped shame upon unmarried mothers then

For “living in sin” as they say

Mothers

‘Give up your baby

Pay your penance in the laundries’

Never told of their fate

Treated them as dirty whores

Social lepers;

Religious outcasts

Thrown out of the Kingdom

Children

Malnourished; neglected

Emaciated & rejected

By the church and state

Complicit with them

Paying money to the run the institutions

Wash their hands

And clean the slate

Society complicit with them

By watching on;

Allowing it to happen

Indifferent to the massacre

Going on behind closed walls

Out of sight, out mind

Their…

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OUTLINES OF MY DUSTY SOUL


Her piercing; searching eyes

Penetrate my mental fortress

Burning; prising open a hole

She sees straight through me

Right into the gaping depths

The outlines of my dusty soul

I avert my gaze from hers

So she won’t see the total mess

Inside. Until I regain control

For if she gets inside my mind

I will be forced to confess

That’s it. I’m done. I’m sold.

I’ll be hers completely

For a lifetime, more or less

My heart, she’s gone & stole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Never Knew


I never knew what what Love was

Until the day that I met you

Cut open; excavated and lifted up

Out of your mother’s bloodied womb

Eyes wide open, sucking

your thumb, into the Theater room

Your curly hair, matted wet

With your amniotic cocoon

Not a cry out of you

It’d be safe to assume

That you had been around before

This place, it wasn’t new.

An old soul reincarnated

As a newborn baby whom

Was gifted to us

This love.

It grows deeper.

Every day

The more that you grow

The more that you play

With your fingers

And kick your feet

With a smile that lingers

And a look that keeps

Surprising & entertaining

Intriguing us too

How could we be complaining

When we’ve dreamed of you

Since conception

You’re everything we’ve hoped for

And more besides

Surpassing our expectations

With your inquisitive eyes

And your sensitive nature

Giggling at the ceiling

For no particular reason

Pushing yourself up

On your developing legs

Crying out for your bottle

Nearly holding it in your hands

Our Princess

 

We gladly submit to your commands

For this is your Kingdom

And we, your loyal subjects

 

 

 

 

TOOTHLESS WONDERS


Like pirates, they plunder

The very depths of society

For another toothless wonder

And their fucked-up family

Their lives torn asunder

For our consumption on TV

Screaming bloody murder

With a belligerent type of glee

And I’m left to wonder

Whether a bemused Jeremy

Instead of paying for their hotel

Might be better forking out for some dentistry

 

With holes in their arguments

As wide as the gaps in the teeth

They eventually come to an agreement

But they’re doomed to repeat

The same old mistakes and deceit

 

Brother accuses brother of stealing his watch

Wife accuses fella of putting pictures of his crotch

On secret dating sites, which he denies of course

DNA test finds him out, but still no remorse

 

Bickering sisters competing for the affections

Of a father or mother they never knew

Coming to terms with their rejection

While another fight brews

 

Running onto to the stage

They fly into a verbal rage

Separated by bodyguard Steve

You’d find it hard to believe

 

Running of the stage again; shouting down from the rows

When they want to have their say; when they’ve been exposed

As the liars & cheaters; victims or lovelorn

It’s easy to mock them, it’s easy to scorn

 

But, it’s their 15 minutes of fame

Revelling in the spotlight

Ignorant of the shame

That their contrived plight

Brings upon their name

Yet we the viewer lap it up in

Because it’s all part of the game

 

Reality comedy gold

For our guilty pleasure

Our sadistic amusement

A national treasure

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