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Here there be dragons and terrible creatures
with savage intent and grotesque, deformed features,
that crawl in the darkness with gleeful abandon
and keep to the depths that the sunlight can’t land on.
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Here the white corpses are brittle and many –
Newcastlewest, Thurles Town and Kilkenny,
the oul’ Magic Mons, Sporting Fingal and Mervue
lie bleached and half-buried to scare and unnerve you.
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Here where the dark things of shadowland languish
come echoing howls of unmerciful anguish
that scream for forgiveness and promise repentance
if only to gain a remission of sentence.
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Here in the dark, where an odour unpleasant
of burnt flesh and sulphur is constantly present,
the smoke clogs the nostrils and lungs are constricted
and breathing is laboured among the convicted.
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But here in the dark, in this prison infernal,
hope, precious hope, from the rock springs eternal.
It seeks out the sunlight with wondrous precision,
the sunlight that shines in the premier division.