Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Word of Thanks

The Crew: Walter, Karen, Connie, Pat, Maureen, Michelle
(the non-stoppable), Kim, Matt, Mary, & Brenda
The slate stones in Yard One are a treasure to the early history of the Irish in Lowell.  Time is beginning to have its effect on them.  Some stones which were pristine a decade ago are beginning to chip, break, and shatter.  The carvings on these stones tell us of the happenings of the first arrivals.  They are the men who walked with Hugh Cummiskey from Charlestown.  They are the women who went to the well that once stood in the front yard of the church.  They are the children, so many children, whose short lives would only be remembered in stone. 

For these reasons, and maybe some of their own, a great group of folks gathered to help prepare the stones for photographing and our October 12th tour.  The weather was perfect.  We cleaned every shamrock stone that has been discovered so far, all 20 of them.  I lost count of how many pails of brush and dirt we hauled away.  By the end of the 2 hours folks were a little sore, a little dirty, and completely exhausted.  I do not have the words to say an appropraite thank you. 

For those of you who missed out on the fun next Saturday we will be working on some other stones.  We'll meet in Yard 1 from 9-11.  


  1. In memory of our ancestors:

    Shape Shifting

    And their voices keep wandering
    Waiting for the solstice of their soul,
    Waiting to be shaped by season’s turn,
    Waiting to stride over gentle terrain.

    Unkempt in the valley’s wild scents,
    Crossing the streams rambling tolls,
    Crossing the river’s sly riddle,
    They cross until night’s chains
    Break in the sun’s slow stroll.

    The Grandfather’s unspeaking tongue,
    His widow clutching her dread,
    Waits till the cruel age cleanses itself,
    Waits through the harsh hours’ fling,
    Waits till the crossing sheds night.

    And meandering daylight treads
    On some babbling murky walk,
    With the limbs of a restless host
    Singing slow songs for the dead.

    --Daniel Patrick Murphy

  2. Dan, would you consider making your poems part of a posting every now and then? Dave

  3. Dave,

    Thank you.
    Yes, it would be my privilege to do so! I'm not quite sure how I go about posting them?

    Dan Murphy