Knock, Knock.

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Irish Lourdes

Where it is said ‘Our Lady appeared ‘ to Knock faithful,
enterprising vendors parade their wares on sidewalks.
You’ll find a large range of rosary beads
hanging in silent prayer – necklaces of every hue
to match any outfit you choose – posing for photos.

1 hour processing while you worship, Extra film,
Holy Water Bottles in the shape of Mary,
small enough to send home with the postcard
or buy a granite headstone for Father, Son,
ready-carved – off the rack, just in case

for those times when you are caught unawares…
Plastic floral wreathes, colour matched, some
have see-through domes to protect or preserve,
all kinds of religious mugs, pens, cups, mouse mats…
the soul wonders as eyes boggle in Knock shops.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

1st published in the Irish American Post  Spring 2007 Vol 7 Issue 3.


◄ Bobbing Grey

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Tue 15th May 2018 09:01

Thank you Desmond and David for the likes - much appreciated, as you know.

Thanks Martin. This is tongue-in-cheek but also born from a lapsed Catholic (Dad was Irish) from Africa, confronted by such obvious devotion.

And Ray, I always appreciate your measured comments so please don't ever apologise. You always seem to read what I meant so clearly which I deeply appreciate, having taken great pains to try to be clear in my writing.

Yes, I found the items so blatantly offered - and so cheap quite confronting, because they seemed irreverent.

And imminently sad.

Also, the irony of the town being called 'Knock' did not escape me either.

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Mon 14th May 2018 21:58

A wonderful inventory of the tacky Frances - the pinning of hope and faith against a backdrop of tawdry market wares has a certain sadness to it for me. I find it quite distressing that poems that really live on the page like yours often garner fewer comments than the provocative declamations so often on the site. Sorry I've said it now.

Perfectly expressed. Ray

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Martin Elder

Sun 13th May 2018 14:24

Nothing about what you have written here surprises me in the least. It both appals me and makes me laugh. The humorous side of me remembers the first series of black adder when he is made Arch bishop of Canterbury and Baldrick starts a side line in Christian relics. I am glad that you have addressed in this poem
Nice one

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