Poems from Prague

Written by: Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

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Poems written on a trip to Prague
in 2009
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Sailing Neath the Charles Bridge
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Such history flows beneath this bridge
And all that have walked on it
So many pass its statues walk
And think so little of it.

Germans, Russians  and the Slav
Have at times been masters here
And yet none was ever master
So from history it does appear

An Irishman beneath it sails
As slowly the Vlatava flows
And everyone goes about their lives
And no one of me knows

And a poem that I have written
As many have done before
And indeed in years to come
So will many more.

So I dance on the wild waters
Neath the Charles bridge in a boat
And others in a day to come
Of it will read the words on it I wrote...

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Merchants at the Pinkas Synagogue
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They sell their wares on open stands
Trinkets, postcards, and stuff
They are everywhere that I can see
The senses it does rebuff
This place is sacred is it not?
Where the story is told
Of mans inhumanity to man
Not a venue to trade for gold?

I feel I think like Jesus did
Of those merchants which I passed
And wished I could do as He
And from the synagogue them to have cast
You cannot take pictures inside at all
And so others cannot see
The scale, the beauty and the horror
Of those names in front of me

Or the pictures of those children
Hanging today on a wall
To see the blind and fain hopes of returning home they held
When they had no hope at all.
But a photo can be taken in the courtyard
But not for free by you
But for €40 or so
It seems surreal, I ask is it true

It tells the story of the holocaust
But its memory it does smear
By selling of trinkets on the strength of spilled blood
To the visitor it does appear
That money is indeed the God
And they will be content
With every misery they endure
If from its memory they can turn a cent.

In cynical mood I write these words
I feel about stands at Knock the same
They do not belong there where they are
That they are is a shame.
Cast the merchants from the Temples
Hold whats sacred as sacred inside
Have a love in your heart for the Lord your God
And in your heart Compassion, Remembrance, and Pride!