Sunday, 28 May 2017

Manchester Arena, May 22 2017

The senseless slaughter of 22 innocent people, along with the maiming and traumatising of so many others at Manchester Arena last Monday night is beyond comprehension. 

Manchester Irish Writers offer their deepest sympathies to all those involved. As writers, many of us have responded in the only way we know how.

By E.M. Powell

As so many Manchester parents know only too well, allowing your teenage daughter to go to the Arena to a gig with a group of friends for the first time is a rite of passage.

They take no notice of your 'Be Carefuls': Make sure you stay together. Don't go to the loo on your own. If you get separated, go to one of the staff. When you come out, watch the road, there's cars everywhere. Make sure your phone's charged up. Dad and I will be in the car at that corner after. Yes, that one. No, THAT one. They haven't listened to a word.

You wave them off, heart in your mouth. At pick up time, (we'll be there from 10:15 in case it finishes early, no, I know it says 10:30 on the ticket, but just in case) you're at that corner. It's raining. Of course it is. So many coming out, so many who could be yours but aren't. You're just watching for yours. Texts. No, THAT corner. Then the text: 'It's ok, I can see you.'

Then she's in, they're all in, soaked of course because they didn't have coats. A back seat full of giggles, shrieks and the car steams up. They're dropped off one by one. The car's quiet. It's just yours left. 'Did you have a good time?' The phone's out again. 'Yeah.' Then we're home. Home.

That's how it's supposed to happen. This morning, I can only thank every God there is, that that was how it happened for us. That mine came home.

By Martha Ashwell

The sun shines too brightly today;
Clouds should be shrouding our city in gloom.
The rubble and debris of so many lives
Remains to be swept up in the wreckage of dreams.

Beautiful children and smiling young faces
Killed in an instant; heavenly themes lost in the music.
Parents bereft of their hopes and their dreams,
Their children’s lives destroyed without warning.

Hatred and anger inspire the violence 
Erupting indiscriminately.
Why has it happened?
What is the answer?  

Kindness and giving rise to the surface;
The warmth of Mancunians caresses the sadness.
The world looks on and determines;
The only way to conquer evil is through love.

By Kevin McMahon
Manchester 23.5.2017

In the green glow 
of Whitworth Park
students bristle with 
mid-exam frenzy 
of relaxation.
A yellow frisbee
scutters between trees.
A woman sits 
on tartan square 
in leaf-shade
and watches her child
crawl across the rug
recoiling at each edge
when she feels
the cool prick of grass.
Although she smiles
this mother cannot quell
the gall of dread,
One day this child
will feel her way
beyond her narrow
will want to join
her friends in happy
concert crowds, 
with appeasing -
meaningless -
cautious promises; 
will step beyond
the limits of her care.

By Patrick Slevin

You noticed. I was late. Hung on for too 
Many goodbyes. Held the kids a little
Tighter. Because that world was still out there. 

Cars sat, subdued. Red eyes watching red lights.
Busy searching for yesterday, before 
The landscape changed.

I rang you before I got there. Couldn’t 
Think of any words. If I said I loved you too
Many times, it’s because of those who can’t.

No comments:

Post a Comment