Severed Connections



Severed Connections

All those bones.
All those bodies.
All those secrets.
And where are the daddies?
Who split the thighs,
spilt the seed
who hid and ran
still running
as the missus carries the load.

Where are those daddies?
Those fine upstanding pillars.
Come from good stock.
Respectable families.
Well known. Well regarded.
Where daddy and grand daddy
split thighs and spilt seeds.
Where do they go to my lovies?
Flight of the fucking pillars.

And you – Mother Ireland – believe
those days are gone.
What of the bent and twisted spines,
crushed livers, spleens and ribcages.
Flooded lungs drowning day by day.
Your children.
Ireland’s vision of the best place for children in the world.
And still you line your pockets, your coffers,
while the crush goes on.
Rotten mouths and crumbling teeth.
Dentists on their knees upon a
suppliant child while doctor takes pliers
and pulls, tugs, the sawing of tender gums
and bone until the socket lets go with a wet
The clink as it lands in the stainless steel bowl.
This year’s allotment funded. The one beside
must wait – give the toxins time to rot gum, tooth and bone.
No matter the pain.

And still Vera walks. arthritic knees, tonsillitis,
driving March rains, sleet and dank cold.
260km, a second time.
Cork to Dublin.
To fling herself prostrate at the Dail
Masters’ feet
who’d wish you gave them more time.
Time your wee ones don’t have.
Time that no one gave the bones
and bone-dust settled on the Tuam grasses,
where wildflowers refuse to grow.

And Ireland, Mother Fucking Ireland –
your people wail, rage and still you line your
pockets, your coffers.
While your people sleep the streets,
the alleyways,
tent cities and cardboard mattresses.
Just a space to call home.

And Maurice who was good, of fine standing and
integrity you bent and bowed
and urged him break
And his wife
His children
You whipped over and over
And still he did not break
Yet still you pushed your lies home.

And the people who flee these shores
don’t only abandon country and kin –
with suicide the only other option –
They leave in droves, and sure why
wouldn’t they?
There is nothing here but rank waste.

And the good ones?
The thousands, millions who stay
because they believe in
Mother Fucking Ireland?
It’s time – time to untie these binds.

Mari Maxwell

Mari writes:

I wrote this in reaction to today’s Commission report on the Tuam burial site

Illustration: ‘800’ by Annie West

Earlier: Our Worst Fears

71 thoughts on “Severed Connections

    1. rotide

      The complete morons who call Ireland a failed state should be forced to live in South Sudan for a year.

      1. Starina

        I know you’ve heard this before but *sigh* i’ll say it again – just because someone else has it worse doesn’t mean we don’t have problems.

          1. Rob_G

            Well, for one thing failed states tend to not have a single all-encompassing authority in charge of water and waste water services…

          2. newsjustin

            Because the benefits of a pretty effective, not overly corrupt, democratic, economically successful, free and quite humane state and society are obvious all around us.

            I dropped my mother for a free CT scan this morning, my sister started her own business last year in 2 weeks – she had to bribe no one to do it), I’m currently freely discussing the state online, someone fixed a pothole near my home last week…..etc, etc

            Anyone who has actually been to a failed state – or even a developing country – will know how nonsensical and pathetic it is to call Ireland a failed state.

          3. AnAccountant

            That’d be the authority we were told we had to set up under pain of EU punishment shortly before taking the EU to court over a different directive they sent us? And then loads of people didn’t pay and now the government is going to repay those that did? And our government might collapse over it? Nothing failed statey about that at all, no.

          4. AnAccountant

            “Anyone who has actually been to a failed state – or even a developing country – will know how nonsensical and pathetic it is to call Ireland a failed state.”

            Child homelessness and poverty has doubled since 2008. The rich have gotten richer and at the same time, more and more people found themselves destitute. But fupp’em. Everything is fine. How dare anyone question the success of our right wing utopia.

          5. Rob_G

            @ AnAccountant

            Ireland’s social protection budget is projected to be €20bn this year; that is basically the opposite of a failed state.

          6. Goosey Lucy

            Agreed. We have problems. Current and historical, but I’d much rather live here than many, many other countries.
            What happened is heartbreaking and shocking. I think we can all agree on that. Perhaps, instead of quibbling over arguments of economic relativity, we could all focus on putting pressure on those in power to hold themselves to a higher moral standard. It is clear to me that society was also at fault here, for failing to call out those who abused vulnerable people. Others may disagree, but I think this fundamentally links to an issue of a “see no evil, hear no evil” culture that we see in society still- just look at the current enquiry

      2. Daddy

        Rotide, South Sudan is only getting going.

        We have been a state almost 100 years and we all are is an apartheid state run to line the pockets of 10% of the population. If there was a racial difference between that 10% and the rest of population, the inequality would be glaringly obvious. They would be able to hide among us.

        1. AnAccountant

          +1 We’re supposed to be one of the wealthiest countries, at least per capita, but over 50% of our workforce earns less than €26k a year. There’s something very wrong with that.

          1. AnAccountant

            What sort of successful society has over half its population suffering inequality?

        2. newsjustin

          Do you know what living standards in Ireland were like 100 years ago?? Trust me, we’ve come a long way.

          1. AnAccountant

            So it’s not “obviously” not a failed state because things were worse 100 years ago?

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            What a ridiculous comparison. Of course living conditions were worse 100 years ago. In pretty much every country, not just our own.

          3. Daisy Chainsaw

            Oh you moaning minnies!! Look at the positives

            We’re not starving children and throwing them in sewage tanks anymore.
            We’re not incarcerating without trial “fallen” women and girls in laundries anymore.
            We’re not taking their babies and selling them anymore.
            We’re not turning a blind eye to priests raping children anymore
            We’re not prosecuting people for bumsex anymore.
            We’re still threatening women with 14 years in prison for buying pills on line, but y’know… you can’t have everything!

            It’s a fupping Utopia in comparison!

          4. newsjustin

            It is Daisy. I know you’re being tongue in cheek, but it really is.

            1916 vs 2016 is like night and day in development terms.

          5. AnAccountant

            “It’s a fupping Utopia in comparison!”

            Funny thing, I think our conservative-right wing friends actually think that. One of their favourite memes is to ridicule “The Left” with mocking claims that they will never reach their left wing/liberal utopia but look how offended people got here when the word ‘failed state’ was used to criticise the country. Actually, in general. Ireland is a right wing utopia and anything that threatens that fantasy has to be ridiculed.

          6. Daisy Chainsaw

            I think you’d have been happier in 1916 newsjustin. Oppression was much easier back then. You could have been a priest, or mammy of a priest, or a nun.

          7. newsjustin

            No. I prefer 2017.

            It’s not that people are offended at Ireland being called a failed state. It’s just that it’s so hilariously wrong and overblown that it’s not really possibe to have a sensible discussion after that.

          8. Lorcan Nagle

            If Ireland being called a failed state offends you, maybe you should retreat to a safe space, snowflake.

          9. newsjustin

            Why would it offend me Lorcan?

            Can a person not simple point out that something is incorrect?

        3. Rob_G

          Jesus, “Apartheid” – why not go the whole-hog and compare Ireland to Nazi Germany while you are at it?

          1. BT Barham

            A population brain washed ..denying they knew the extent that the state in partnership with a cult had been killing infants whilst the strongers ones exploited. Their crime ! been considered undesirables .. the Nazis would have flourished here .. I’m sure himmler could get a road built or passport and attend an auld funeral or match

          2. Rob_G

            Jesus wept – I suggest you log off the internet for a while, and go and read a history book.

        4. rotide

          Firstly, Apartheid? Are you having an effing laugh? Seriously, go away to the SU or wherever that sort of hyperbolic nonsense catches the eyes of the impressionable freshers.

          Secondly, the situation you are talking about exists in most of the western world. I guess it’s a failed planet so.

          1. AnAccountant

            Maybe it is. A fupping kleptocrat just took over America. A system that let that happen might have a couple of flaws, like.

      3. realPolithicks

        That’s a completely moronic response from you. Ireland is a 100 year old “modern” state in the western hemisphere, South Sudan is a “state” founded 6 years ago as a result of civil war. Do you really believe that is the standard that Ireland should be held to? Moron!

      1. realPolithicks

        Martin McMahon writes:

        ‘It’ is etched on the worried face of a young mother walking from Cork to Dublin.

        ‘It’ is CF sufferers huddled and masked in protest outside a newly refurbished Leinster House. ‘

        It’ is Grace betrayed by unaccountable shadows.

        It’ is Megan’s twisted spine, her publicly promised operation cancelled when the camera is turned off

        ‘It’ is whistleblowers criminalised.

        ‘It’ is the tears in tissues beside the computer after the weekly Skype to older children and grandchildren who may never be seen again toiling in far flung corners of Australia or America.

        ‘It’ is Dublin Airport Christmas week where broken hearts will brim with joy once again reunited, squeezed half to death with years of missed embraces condensed into minutes only for those hearts to be ripped asunder weeks or even days later as loved ones leave a country that has failed most of us.

        ‘It’ is the fear of never seeing elderly parents again save to bury their bodies in graves that will never be tended or prayed over by the generation they raised.

        ‘It’ is skipping meals to pay bills that were never ours.

        ‘It’ lies freezing on unwelcoming streets, in Georgian doorways or crammed in hostel hotels with no dignity, forever destined to live in the margins.’

        It’ is newspapers advertising thousand euro coats ripped up to cover holes in the soles of shabby shoes.

        ‘It’ lies dying on hospital waiting lists. ‘It’ is social immobility denied yet propagated by the same affluent few generation after generation.

        ‘It’ is protesters criminalised in courts at the behest of billionaires who will enjoy immunity from criminalisation in rich men’s tribunals.

        ‘It’ is a Dail that fails to hold government to account.

        ‘It’ is in the breaking of a people forced to protect banks and bondholders who will never be stooped by the burden of ‘it’.

        ‘It’ is a hundred years of right wing government, of broken promises, of pandering to a privileged elite.

        ‘It’ is a tale telling Taoiseach.

        ‘It’ is a country divided by wealth and influence. ‘It’ is knowing there is a better way sold out for petty political positioning.

        ‘It’ was never just about water.

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Go read the Golden Discs thread, my dear. It’s an honest pleasure to browse.

      Though I don’t recommend clicking on that link I posted if you want good music. For a chuckle, perhaps, but not much else.

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      Yeah. It’s only a few dead babies and it’s not like they were aborted before they could feel pain or anything.

      1. Jocky

        And that makes us a failed state?

        Children (who died of natural causes) being buried in unmarked graves 50-100 years ago does not make it a failed state.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          Malnutrition is not a natural cause. There were plenty of fat faced nuns and priests in Tuam. None of them died from malnutrition.

          1. Jocky

            And how many died from malnutirtion? What were the circumstances of those deaths? Was it normal for the time?

          2. Daisy Chainsaw

            Your defence of the indefencible is disgusting, Jocky.

            How many deaths from malnutrition while in the care of well fed servants of god is an acceptable amount?

          3. newsjustin

            Malnutrition is a natural cause in some circumstances – where a baby can’t properly feed. It happened, I know of a case in my own family. Could be rectified today very easily. Not in 1949.

          4. Jocky

            I don’t know the answer and neither do you. The difference is that I’m not jumping ton conclusions about fat nuns that youve never met from1935.

          5. And Social Justice For All

            They are abandoned kids. They would have either died anyway or ideally been aborted if we had allowed it

    3. Nigel

      Maybe people who think we’re a failed state and people who think there are widespread failures of the state should split the difference , unite and strive to hold the state to account through various forms of activism including contacting local representatives, letters to newspapers, petitions, marches, demonstrations, and running for elected office. Because otherwise you might as well just be arguing pointlessly on a webite comet section.

  1. Jocky

    “Where daddy and grand daddy
    split thighs and spilt seeds.”

    This is also a mental line. You clearly have some issues with men and father figures in your life.

    1. And Social Justice For All

      Worse than tripe. It’s unreadable bullspoo. At least you can eat tripe.

  2. Dole Observer

    On a positive note, there may be potential for Tuam as a future tourist destination thanks to all of this. A pilgrimage site perhaps.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      True catholicism in action. Suffering and tortured for god’s pleasure… just like he did to his own child.

  3. Rob_G

    And the people who flee these shores
    don’t only abandon country and kin –
    with suicide the only other option –

    – yes, people in Ireland are literally presented with a binary choice between suicide and emigration; oh my days…

  4. deco

    Nice effort from a super angry person. Pity about the foul language. It completely ruined for me.

  5. Zena

    Dicko, does the foul language offend you more or less than near on 800 bodies being discovered?

    Strong language is a form of expression, surprisingly enough, rape, child abuse, child neglet and murder evoke strong feelings in some people.

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