Famine Walk, Dublin.

Across from us over the river the door to the city is closed
Until Monday, apathetic of those here trying to stay warm
And find sleep. Existing here
They are, not living, struggling to hope,
Told, probably yesterday, that their case could wait
Or made the Immigration Office a little too late
They sit under the skylineof the building boom
Lost in a city about to be reborn.

The Liffey, grey, rolls by on a melancholy tide. Above
The rolling clouds come darkening with promise
Of a kiss from rain. In the distance again
There are cranes. But these ones, up so close,
Are not obscurely contrived crucifixes easily identified.
No. There are far too many too many to resemble anything
But the profile of a steel spider web
Burrowing downward and into their own
Unique vanishing point. And right here
Between the illegally statused and the newly crafted
Are we, alone, but for the bronzed victims of the famine
And their eyes horror-wrought and blank
Perceive nothing of this new world. Two figures
Are clearly women, pregnant or not can be told
Only by the artist. The other four are men
Obscurely walking toward and away
From starvation. One of the men carries a child upon his back
Weakened by hunger I would hope, but almost certainly dead,
His father too loving to release him. Behind the
Representations of human the smallest figure, a dog,
Back arced and maw drawn sniffs and growls hungry
Waiting for the walking to drop
And grant the gift of flesh.
The refugees and asylum seekers behind us
Lay on benches and look at the bronzed.
They laugh and joke, drink and smoke
Not knowing that someone somewhere
Has seen them as future statues
Upon some estranged horizon.

Famine Walk, Dublin.

mkl .

Paris, France

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 3

Artist's Description

There is an area of the docks in Dublin called Famine Walk which has several bronze statues of people making their way to the boats during the atrocity of the Irish Famine. This is just a brief contemplation of them.


dublin famine

Artwork Comments

  • Sally Omar
  • mkl .
  • Norah
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