Seen It

Seen It

I have seen the love,
when Father makes himself into a bed,
to raise the weary child from off the deck,
cradling all the treasure of the world,
within his arms, underneath thin blankets.

I have seen the love,
of brother held fast to brother,
sleeping, no support but each other,
I had not the words to ask,
did they even share a Mother?

I have seen the love,
of Grandfather who didn’t put that baby down,
while his daughter slept exhausted for half a day,
beneath the watchful gaze,
of his protection.

I have seen the love,
where the plight of desperate children,
has caused the toughest to quiver,
then to shudder,
when the sodden layers are stripped away.

I have seen the love,
when all the dreamless sleepers,
are gathered at my feet,
in the quiet rolling hours,
as we sail towards relief.

by Ruairí de Barra

This poem was shortlisted for the 6th Bangor Poetry Competition 2018 as part of the Aspects Festival.

There is a single hand written copy that exists for sale in ‘The BlackBerry Path Art Studio’ in Bangor.

I would like to thank Amy Raftery and Daniel Raftery for displaying it and for taking such care and time to help out when the original entry got lost, smashed and took a unexpected tour of the country.

Published in ‘Live Encounters’ December 2018. You can read the four poems in this special volume on the Live Encounters website or download a free .pdf copy just by clicking here.

Live Encounters is a wonderful publication and all of its issues, as well as special editions, may be found on its website at

I would like to thank Mark Ulyseas for seeing fit to include my work again in the same pages of some truly talented people.

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