Michael Farry

Where I’m From

Michael Farry

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I come from silence

           except when my grandad sang the first verse of Slievenamon.

I come from piety

           except when my father cursed God for taking Christopher and Sean.

I come from harshness

           except when teacher read The Little Waves of Breffni

           and I was entranced by the old tales my mother told me.


I come from community

           except when the neighbours’ sheep destroyed our young oats.

I come from faith

           except for the silver-paper covered horseshoe above the hall door.

I come from hardship

           except when the big yellow van restocked the school library

           and when we roamed free over hills, jumped streams, climbed trees.


I come from sadness

           except by the big river with my father and brothers, fishing.

I come from isolation

           except when I read newspaper reports of the Munich air crash.

I come from solitude

           except for the raggle of football in the raucous schoolyard.

           and when friends filled the house – tea, sweetcake, porter, cards.


I come from Sligo

           except when my grandchildren wear their county colours.


Michael Farry


Michael Farry’s poetry has been published in journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and India. He has been a member of the LitLab initiative of Meath and Cavan Arts Offices since its inception 2007 and has had poems included in their publications Under a Trupenny Moon (2013) and Behind the Lines (2015). His chapbook The Hawk’s Rock – A Poetry Sequence was published as part of a collaboration with Sligo artist, Conor Gallagher, in September 2010. In 2009 he was awarded third prize in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition and was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions 2011. His first poetry collection, Asking for Directions, was published by Doghouse Books in 2012. His history book, Sligo, The Irish Revolution 1912-1923, was published in 2012 by Four Courts Press.