Quietly Flowed The Blood

Sean Maguire with a poem from a published collection of his work.

We watched a TV show about our
troubled past.
Your face turned sickly pale,
frozen, white as snow. 
Questions came thick and fast. 
You were shocked how normal, 
those abnormal times appeared to me.  

Back then,
life limped along in daily
babies were born to teenage brides,
’bookie shop rumours; 
were stamped top secret on all sides. 
Sharp dressed men shopped, ‘Til’ 
they dropped’ in bomb damage sales. 
Teenagers bopped, all night watching 
Top of the Pops.  
I told you, never-ending stories about
blood filled rivers, 
flooding the veins of war, 
weary streets and country 
I recalled car bombs, 
hurtling mangled bodies,
a hundred feet in the air. 
The stench of burning flesh drifted 
from Belfast city hall,        
to the gates of Long Kesh.   
I rambled on about graveyards filling 
by the dozen, 
during the killing rage. 
Page by page, the papers sold us 
yesterday’s news. 
Quietly flowed the blood, 
pouring from decaying wounds
of middle age men, 
who shared their toys and facial scars 
with me as wee boys; whilst running
scared from armoured cars. 
Memories are wafer thin, 
drip feeding flashbacks, beneath the 
We are prisoners, chained to an
inglorious past; 
when black flags flew at half-mast.  

➽Se├ín Maguire has been writing poetry, song lyrics, short stories and non-fiction for over thirty years and has had a considerable amount of his work published in magazines, newspapers, anthologies and online blogs. The above poem is taken from his collection For Those Left Behind.

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