Denis Lane (Kathleen's father) composed this poem for the dedication of our project, and recited it at the ceremonies:
Inishturk, Co. Mayo
Tongs exchanged by loved ones
before leaving their island homes
with coals from the hearth to keep the home fires burning
keep the faith that family members will return.
Like the sun that rises daily,
like the seasons that return,
their hearts would rise as they remembered
the family left behind in West Mayo.
All the Immigration Songs
record the sadness of the parting
and the joy of those who made it back
to the green clad Irish shores.
But those who traveled far away
in search of food or work and freedom
and never saw their home again,
they still returned in their hearts to Mayo.
Ah, the Wild Geese they scattered
to new lands across the sea,
and they took the homeland with them
in the tongs of memory.
They kept the faith and spirit,
untamed as they’ll always be,
for the time when they will migrate back
to ancestral homes and family.
June 21, 2013
At the rising of the solstice moon
a flame burns bright above Inishturk,
kindled by coals carried in tongs
to keep the Irish spirit alive.
in a shrine that stands as a beacon
it beckons the clans to come home--
to gather together here in this beautiful land;
to enjoy the people, their stories, our songs.
By Denis Kennedy Lane, Jr.