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24 May 2022

Trip Through Time: The coming of Spring and a poem

Looking back at Dundalk's past, with former Democrat editor Peter Kavanagh

Trip Through Time: The coming of Spring and a poem

Last Tuesday was the metrological beginning of the season of Spring, although officially Spring does not begin until the Vernal Equinox on the afternoon of March 20 next.

As ever, spring growth has been very welcome in Dundalk, even though the winter has not been too severe this year - but, be warned, we might yet have some pretty foul weather to put up with before we see anything like summer conditions!

My friends tell me that the growth is well ahead of what we used to experience less than a generation ago in these parts.

I am told that the daffodils are a good guide as to what we might experience in this respect and, so far, they are coming on nicely around the Town but not as abundant as they were last year!

Other flowers are also well on their way; many shrubs are already blooming and the leaves budding on the trees and bushes.

Another guide to what may be coming can be the birds building their nests and I have been told that birds of prey, like sparrow hawks, have become very active, which may or not be a good thing!

There seems to be fewer starlings and wonder if others have noticed this. I have noticed a few strange birds around and would like to know if readers have spotted any change in the bird population.

One interesting thing about the past few months is that my friends tell met that there have been fewer mice entering houses than was experienced last year when there was a plague of them in many homes.

This may or may not have to do with fewer people being confined to their homes due to the lessening of the COVID-19 restrictions.

A poem about the Ukrainian situation

My friend Noel Sharkey has sent me a poem about the Ukrainian War for publication in the Democrat. He tells me that he was inspired by T.S. Elliot’s famous 1922 poem about the Great War. He calls it ‘The New Waste Land February 2022’ ---I am sure that most of my readers will agree with its sentiment!

And so it begins, it commences all over again –

This chemical rain now lashing down upon the

People of Ukraine

Whom the the winds of fate now callously hurl and toss

And impale upon two thousand and twenty two

Nails upon the Cross.

The missiles and rockets now lighting up the

Skies at night

And the pitiful hordes of refugees cast upon their

frightening roads of flight –

The gutted bodies in each gutted apartment block

And upon every stone strewn street

And the carnage and the agony which history is

Now condemned to repeat.

I would like to remind my readers that Noel Sharkey has devoted any money he has made from his poems in the past to very worthy charities and am confident the Editor of the Dundalk Democrat will be happy to applaud his generosity!

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