Tag Archives: poetry

The Loose Tooth Tree

Damian Murphy, a native of St. Brigid’s Terrace, has sent us in a copy of one of his poems from his collection The Spice of Life: A Collection of Rhyming Verse. Do you remember the Loose Tooth Tree???

The Loose Tooth Tree

Memories of times long past
Memories that seem to last
One thing I remember, it was special to me
Is the hideout known as The Loose Tooth Tree.

It was in a hedge where many trees did grow
It looked nothing special if you didn’t know
But for me and my pals it was something just ours
where we could escape for hours and hours.

It was completely covered with dark green ivy
Though the roots were loose, making it quite shaky
But once inside you were impossible to see
Ideal for a hideout we named the Loose Tooth Tree.

Though you could see out cross the fields everywhere
If you were quiet no one knew you were there.
Keeping it secret was just half the fun
An oath of secrecy was sworn by everyone.

Bits and bobs from everywhere made it our own
A great place to be, with the gang or alone
Jokes and stories were told, there was great laughter
And yes we discussed girls, and the ones we were after.

We had blackjacks, fruitsalads and bullseyes too
Time bars and curly wurlys that took ages to chew
A place to relax where there was no sense of hurry
We were so young sure we didn’t have a worry

We used it for cowboys and indians, hide and seek
The rare risqué mag there did we peek
Indeed it is where I tried my first smoke
When my pals were convinced I was going to choke.

We ambushed the boys from Clongowes when they came to town
Yes us boys from the Terrace gained some renown
It was all good clean fun, just fisticuffs back then
And didn’t it help us all on our journey from boys to men

We were Smiths and Nevins, Murphys and Callans
Dorans and Behans, Delaneys and Ryans
All from St Brigids and so proud of the fact
“No outsiders allowed” was a part of the pact

We had bags of crisps that cost only two pence
Wore platform shoes so high they didn’t make sense
Flared collars so wide we were in danger of flight
We had hair so long it often interfered with sight.

We listened to the Osmonds, the Monkees and Status Quo
We loved Abba and Gary Glitter (how were we to know)
We loved the Waltons, Top Cat and the Flintstones, yabadabadoo
Little House on the Prairie, Shirley Temple, and the Little Rascals too

Yes The Loose Tooth Tree belonged to St. Brigid’s Terrace
But as more houses went up other kids proved a menace
Two bits of wood and a nail, we all had a sword to fight
and peg guns proved effective if the aim was right.

We decided to make up a language all of our own
What we were saying others had no way of knowing
Not parents nor priests, not teachers or anyone
And we had such mighty craic, it was so much fun.

It was an innocent time, we were all boys growing
Our lives were changing without us really knowing
In the Loose Tooth Tree we were all good friends together
Making memories that would stay with each of us forever

It was during the seventies in my home town of Clane
Upon leaving ‘twas two decades ‘til I saw it again
To my dismay the Loose Tooth Tree was no more
But it will live on in my memory for evermore.

© Damian Murphy 2013

Clane Poet publishes in aid of St. Brigid’s Hospice

David Joseph Cribbin is a poet who was born and grew up in Clane. He has published poetry in many poetry magazine and has had two of his collections published. When his father, Thomas J. Cribbin, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, in June of this year, he decided to donate the proceeds of his latest collection Father Crow and Other Poems to the St. Brigid’s Hospice in the Curragh after seeing what a wonderful job they do out there.

Thomas Cribbin

Thomas Cribbin, RIP

David said, “Dad himself had a way with words , he used to call his beloved GAA, ‘Nothing but 30 men in a field chasing a bag of wind.’ I’ve always loved that phrase ‘bag of wind’ instead of the prosaic – ball.”

Thomas passed away in August and David wrote the eulogy for his father and included the poem Return, which he wrote for him while he was being cared for in St. Brigid’s Hospice


You’re going home,
returning never to
be turned away again,
returning never to
return to away again.

You’re returning home.

Your sheep are there –
their sleet fleece begging
to be sheared,
echoing the Sun’s heat
in a shining peal reply,
grazing in unconscious
contentment on dew
covered pastures,
luminous jade in
an eternal spring morning.

You’re returning home.

Your dog Shep is there,
his coal and milk pelt
wind tossed in the warm
breeze, doppelgänger
for the sea of
honey meadow grass
waving welcomingly
to you, beckoning you
to come and join Shep
bobbing in and out
of joyful reveal
and conceal.

You’re returning home.

Your water cart is there,
remade as you first
made it, fitted out with
its baker’s drums to
draw the rain clear water,
to thirsty mouthed cattle
on a gentle glide

You’re returning home –
returning never to
be turned away again,
returning never to
return to away again.

David Joseph Cribbin

If anyone wishes to donate by buying the book, it is available here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Father-Other-Poems-Joseph-Cribbin/dp/1490913726/