Larrikin Mary

 This was written just after we first visited Joe's grave in Benalla. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived and we just sat for a while. There is a tree there, a macrocarpa we call them in NZ, not sure if it is the same in Australia, but that tree was out of place in Benalla. But when we got to Beechworth, when we were standing looking out over the Woolshed gulley there were scattered stands of them. Someone took that seed and planted it there for him. Something from home to mark his place. And people came to remember him, those Irish priests, a century of them each wanting to say the words that he was not allowed to have, each thinking that he was the first.

Alone I was buried
No tears of loss or love
Hurried placement
Cold dark earth

Coarse sack to cover
No rosewood coffin
For one such as I
Unwanted boy, unconsecrated ground

They sought to lessen
To diminish in death
Insignificant man
Deemed nothing in God’s eyes

But they came
Those who had known, and loved
Men of god prayed beside me
Blessings falling upon me

Long has it been
Since I passed from this earth
Yet still they find me
Young and old, of here and not

I am held by soft earth
Shaded by one small seed
Which now is my monument
More true than any marble

Life surrounds me
Others find me
To remember those who have no place
To remember Ned, Dan, Steve

This dirt that was nothing
Is now of hope and peace
But I am not just here
I am everywhere..

Everywhere that I am remembered….

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