TAL POETRY                                                         

Talfanzine's very own resident poet, "ProvoRhino" has penned some excellent verses in our forum over the years. This page is a celebration of his work from the past and will also include his most most recent offerings.

                                   Poem For The Pecker (Dunne)

Gather round this cold night by the campfire,and i'll tell you a Tinkermans' tale,
All about a great singer of Ireland,who triumphed where many have failed.
Born into a nomadic lifestyle,a horse drawn trailer it was his abode,
And he travelled the lanes of ould Ireland,and he travelled the dusty old roads.

"Sullivans John" to the road you have gone,Pecker Dunne wrote at eleven years young
And that was the dawn of his music career,and his wonderful story begun.
For he travelled the byways and highways,and could be found on a bright sunny day,
Playing songs down at Croke of the travelling folk,at the games of the old G.A.A

Well he sang of the Myxomatosis and he told of the ould Morris van,
And the tale of the Thirty foot trailer,and the songs of the travelling man.
And he gave us the songs of his people,where others had feared for to speak,
And he spoke out 'gainst discrimination,and equal rights for his people did seek.

Well you'd find him not far from O'Callaghans Mills,in the famed banner county of Clare,
Down among all the horses and trailers at the world famous Spancil Hill fair.
And you'd find him out west into Galway and on the road up to Ballinasloe,
With his banjo and fiddle always close by at hand,for he always would put on a show.

Pecker drank with the great Richard Harris,a world renowned actor and drinker,
And starred in "The Good,Bad & Ugly",not bad for an old Wexford Tinker!!
And he knew Eli Wallach and Oliver Reed,and he acted with the man Stephen Rea,
But he never denied that great traveller pride,on the open road Peckers' heart lay.

Christy Moore never met with Bob Dylan,but he sang with the great Pecker Dunne,
So won't you come now to me little daughter,won't you come now to me little son.
For Pecker played with those brothers The Fureys,and Luke Kellys' own Dubliners' band,
With his own unique style that old banjo he played,and the greatest respect did command.

So always remember his music,and never then forget his face,
For he brought such joy unto his people,and he brought such pride unto his race.
For we are the Romany people,and in that we should suffer no shame,
Dunne,Barrett,Ward or other,travelling sister or brother,you should always take pride in your name.

So farewell to the tent and the trailer,and farewell to the old caravan,
And join me in praise of the great Pecker Dunne,of the Legend,Musician and Man.
For he shall be forever remembered,and his name it shall always live long,
Carried on by the travellers of Ireland,in their poems and in story and song.

(C)ProvoRhino.9th June 2010.All Rights Reserved.

                                                For Christy Moore

Well this poem i'll relate for a living legend,no less,
When it comes to the singing well he's up with the best.
For he sings with committment,with passion and flair,
The man Christy Moore,he's the pride of Kildare.

Did you ever see Christy perform "Nancy Spain"?
The love and the beauty,the heartache,the pain.
And when he sang that song by Bobby,and took us out o'er the sea,
How we wished in sweet Derry,back home we could be.

He sang with Dominic Behan in those Cricklewood pubs,
And with the bold Hamish Imlach in the Glasgow folk clubs.
He made music with MacGowan and sure he sang with Sinead,
And with the great travelling man Pecker Dunne proudly played.

Christy always would favour the underdogs' side,
He sang "Johnny Connors" and filled the travellers with pride.
And he sang of the "Scapegoats",down in Birmingham jailed,
Just another six Irish that British justice had failed.

Of Timothy Evans' sad plight Christy sang,
With a noose 'round his neck he was sentenced to hang.
Will ye go down you murderer,but it was not the case,
For John Christie had framed Tim,such a tragic disgrace.

Well republican prisoners,Christy knew they were right,
When he sang "On The Blanket",to tell of their plight.
For he sang for the people though he'd so much to lose,
And he sang of the Tamlaghduff boy Francie Hughes.

With his share of health problems,he came back from the brink,
The Delirium Tremens sent him wild for the drink.
But he found inner strength to drive those demons away,
And i pray he'll be singing to a far distant day.

Well he sang in The Gallowgate(up near the top),
In the Barrowland Ballroom you could hear a pin drop.
Not a drink it was taken but the craic still was good,
For the people they listened and in their hearts understood.

From the Jarama Valley to the Soweto slums,
They can still hear the rhythm of the old Biko drum.
And the cry "Adelante" upon the hillside does sound,
And Christy Moores' songs of freedom still they echo around.

So Ride On my comrade,to the Cliffs of Doneen,
And North and South of the river to the Valleys so green.
For your music shall ring from the sea to the shore,
And we never shall forget the great Christy Moore.

(C)ProvoRhino.2nd June 2010.All Rights Reserved

                                     The Ballad Of Diarmuid O'Neill

It hit me like a hammer,the awful news that day,
A Volunteer they'd murdered,now in London dead he lay.
The shock and grief it numbed me,it seemed to me unreal,
For the man they dubbed a terrorist was our friend Diarmuid O'Neill.

The 'papers called him "evil",and printed dirty lies,
To brainwash the British public,and hide truth from their eyes.
For Diarmuid was a soldier brave,for liberty did toil,
To free the land of Ireland,drive the Brits from Irish soil.

They burst into that hotel room and fired their tainted lead,
With murder in their minds that night,they left your body dead.
When they dragged you from that hotel,with your blood the steps were stained,
And Ireland shared your sorrow,and her people shared your pain.

Each day we ask the question,why did Diarmuid have to die?
No-ones been held accountable,or told your Mammy why.
The pain and hurt have still not passed,the grief we suffer still,
For someone signed your death warrant,and ordered Shoot To Kill.

We saw it in Gibraltar,with brave Mairead,Séan and Dan,
Their murders they were sanctioned,at the highest level planned.
You killed Jean Charles in Stockwell,from Brazil this young man came,
For Thatcher may have gone now,but her policy remains.

Well now you lie in Timoleague,there your body lies at peace,
You died to see Six Counties free,and British rule to cease.
We thank you for your courage,and the bravery you displayed,
In the fight for Irelands' freedom,yes your part you proudly played.

T'was a quiet night in Hammersmith,'til gunfire filled the air,
And gunmen under orders opened fire without a care.
For collusion's no illusion,Shoot To Kill no fallacy,
Your British justice is a joke,it's plain for all to see.

No your British Murder is no joke,it's a crime for all to see.

(C)ProvoRhino 4th May 2010.All Rights Reserved.

                                                                       Jimmy Johnstone- "Unique"

"Today i heard the dreadful news,a Celtic legend died,

I held my head between my hands and sat awhile and cried.

'Cause this man he was something else,though a cruel hand he'd been dealt,

James Connolly Johnstone,the greatest ever Celt.


The fans they called him "Jinky",he learnt his skills out in the street,

When he had the ball,it seemed to all,it was glued to his feet.

The little flame-haired wizard,to defenders such a bane,

And when he'd turned them inside out,he'd do it all again.


He had flair,determination,he had courage,he had skill,

He had style and grace and turn of pace,to beat players at will.

Jimmy Jimmy Johnstone,the greatest player we've ever seen,

Dazzling defenders in the Hoops of white and green.


He loved the "craic" did Jinky,and liked to have a lark,

That's why he was a character,both on and off the park.

I'll ne'er forget the tale of how he found himself afloat,

Half pished out in the Irish sea,in an "oarless" rowing boat!!


But best he'll be remembered for his exploits on the ball,

Coz Cruyff and Best and Charlton,Jinkys' skills outshone them all.

His opponents they could never guess what Jimmy was going to do,

And half the time his team mates didn't have a f***ing clue!!!!


So now the time has come for me to bid my fond goodbyes,

And thank you Jimmy,for the joy you brought to Paradise.

For though i never met you,i feel i knew you as a friend,

And my memories of you,Wee Man,will be with me 'til the end".



(c) ProvoRhino 13th June 2006.

                                                                     Tom Barrys' Flying Column

There was war and strife in Ireland,how did this come to be,

For there was brother killing brother,your best friend could be your worst enemy.

There were Free Staters and Black & Tans and the gallant I.R.A,

And fighting for survival was the order of the day.


Oh the Wind that Shakes the Barley,the time of change is here,

I'll sing to brave Tom Barry and his West Cork Volunteers.

The famous Flying Column,they never did fear the fight,

They fought the cursed Black & Tans and all Britannias' might.


The Tans they came to Ireland,the Saxon shilling for to earn.

They plundered,raped and murdered then our homes to the ground did burn.

Terrorists from England,I hope those bastards were well paid,

How they wished that they were back at home when they met the Cork Brigade.


By a roadside at Kilmichael ,a gun battle it did rage,

As Barry and his Column there, the enemy did engage.

And eighteen of the Auxiliaries were shot dead on that day,

While three courageous fenian men by a roadside dead did lay.


Michael McCarthy and Jim O'Sullivan,that day they met their deaths,

Young Pat Deasy aged just sixteen years he drew his final breath.

Three fine sons of Erin,up to Heaven they had gone,

But their spirit it could not be crushed,while Barrys' men marched on.


So here's to bold Tom Barry and the 3rd West Cork Brigade,

On that November day,outside Macroom,when history was made.

When Barry and the Column,Irelands' enemies did face,

They ambushed the Auxiliaries and put them in their place.


Oh the Wind that Shakes the Barley,the time of change is here,

I'll sing to brave Tom Barry and his West Cork Volunteers.

The famous Flying Column,they never did fear the fight,

They fought the cursed Black & Tans and all Britannias' might.

Yes they fought the cursed Black & Tans and all Britannias' might.

Tiocfaidh Ár Lá!

(C) ProvoRhino,17th October 2006

                                                                         REFLECTIONS OF 1981

My mind goes back to 81,that was the fateful year,
When Ten men fought the British and paid the price so dear.
Hungering for Justice,led by Bobby Sands,
Fighting for their Human rights,they sought the 5 demands.
But England was a bastard,she conned us once again,
With treachery and trickery she killed our Ten Brave men.

Hughes came from Bellaghy,McCreesh from South Armagh,
O'Hara came from Derry,McDonnell Belfasts shining star.
Martin Hurson came from Cappagh,from Dungiven Kevin Lynch,
They were defiant til the end,at death they did not flinch.
Kieran Doherty from Belfast,he was the 8th to die,
Allowed to die by Thatcher,did no-one question why????
Then McElwee from Bellaghy,that was murder number 9,
And finally from Free Derry,Oglach Mickey Devine.

Your promises were hollow,you deceived us and you lied,
The whole world saw your callousness as one by one they died.
England you're a tyrant,the whole wide world could see,
And Bobby Sands from Twinbrook was The Peoples Own M.P.
Our hearts were filled with sadness as each brave man passed away,
And young men they were queuing up to join the I.R.A.

Thatcher was a bastard,she thought she had us beat,
But we got revenge in Brighton and went close in Downing Street.
We NEVER will surrender.The war it WILL be won,
As long as we have Brave Young Men like those of 81.

Tiocfaidh Ar La.
(C) ProvoRhino, 7th August 2004

                                                  Remember Our Brave Comrades

Eight Men lay dead in Loughall,they were butchered by the SAS,
We owe them debt and won't forget though eighteen years have passed.
The fight goes on for justice,'til their killers names we learn,
And the IRA will blow them away,then down in hell they'll burn.

They murdered Mairead Farrell and gunned down Dan McCann,
Along with brave Sean Savage in a cruel and callous plan.
Then tried to cover up the truth,they told a pack of lies,
But we all know the Brits are SCUM so it came as no suprise.

Remember George McBrearty and Charlie 'Pop' Maguire,
Two men gunned down in a Derry town,two men we all admire.
How many gallant Volunteers,the ones we so adore,
Must be shot dead by British lead in Englands' dirty war?

Colm McGirr and Brian Campbell,a dreadful price they paid,
While serving bravely with the IRAs' Tyrone Brigade.
They died like brothers,side by side as they fought the British foe,
Victims of an ambush in the parish of Clonoe.

So read the Roll Of Honour for Irelands' bravest men,
From Belfast,Derry and Tyrone.From Cork and Crossmaglen.
And all the Men and Women,who never gave up the fight,
And took the struggle to the Brits with bomb and armalite.

So heres to Erins' daughters and Irelands fighting sons,
They bravely died with Irish pride against the Saxon hun.
Remember them eternally for they paid the greatest price,
For you and me and Ireland Free they made that sacrifice.

Tiocfaidh Ar La!
(C) ProvoRhino 8th June 2005. All rights reserved.

                                                                    A Song for South Africa

 This song i write in solidarity with those comrades 'cross the sea,

Who've faced oppression in South Africa,and been denied their liberty.

And some have seen their loved ones killed,and some their lives have lost,

As they fought for what they knew was right...yes they fought at any cost.


For the cry was "Adelante" from Soweto to the Falls,

When people rose in revolution and they answered freedoms' call.

In the townships of South Africa the people they fought back,

For there's no disgrace in being poor,no crime in being black.


Well they held Thulani Mabaso,and they made his life pure hell,

Yet Apartheid could not break him in his Robben Island cell.

He kept alive the struggle,though the times were hard and bleak,

And made his voice and message heard where others feared to speak.


Steven Biko had a vision,to end Apartheid his lifes' dream,

His murder it brought grief and shock,exposed a cruel regime.

His death it made him famous,and the whole world learned his name,

And this hero from King Williams' Town,a martyr he became.


They held Nelson Mandela,for some 27 years,

For he'd dared to fight oppression,he'd seen death,torture and tears.

They dared to call him a terrorist,denied him a release,

A man who learned to hold a gun,yet still a man of peace.


For peace & justice they're still fighting,and we know they won't give in,

For they've freedoms' spirit in their hearts,it burns from deep within.

And it never shall be beaten,only battered,torn and bruised,

The spirit of Tom McElwee,McCreesh and Francis Hughes.


For the cry was "Adelante" from Soweto to the Falls,

When people rose in revolution and they answered freedoms' call.

Still the struggle is not over,but someday soon our day will come,

When South Africa will be at peace,and our land shall be as one.


(C) ProvoRhino 29th August 2009.All Rights Reserved.TÁL.