Monday, 7 September 2009


Today was my 7-year old's first day in Juniors at his Primary School. It was very strange this morning seeing his classmates looking nervous about a new start. The Junior playground is full of big kids at playtime! I'm sure he'll do okay though. When I went to school, it was a Catholic School and as well as lessons we would prepare for things such as First Confession, First Communion and Confirmation (you only got one of those!). Our teachers were a mixed bag of sadists, nuns, sadistic nuns and one or two nice folk that slipped through the net.

I remember training to confess my sins for the first time and being encouraged by the nuns to make up a few extra sins to fill out the confession. In the maytime we always practised the May Processions. These memories came together in my poem Green Blades of Springtime.

Green Blades of Springtime

I saw the green blades of springtime and wore the red sash,
As I held Laura's hand near the church 'neath the ash.
We were sworn in communion, blessed by some priest,
And we sang songs to Mary at the May Flower Feast.
They said I ate his body, they said I drank his blood
I'd confessed my past sins and they said that made me good

I'd trained for confession after Easter had gone
And the Sins I'd told father I'd lied all but one
For in preparation my mind blank it had run,
The fib about Billy's window was given me by a nun.

So if you're short of faith and losing the plot,
Just call on some Padre and give it a shot.
You could make a new confession after 30 odd years
And talk through a shutter about urges and fears.
I saw the green blades of springtime poke out from the soil,
Gave glory to worm and woodlouse and their wondrous toil.

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