Memories Of An Irish Farm

Living in America, I miss our farm in County Cork.

There I feel at home.

Today, I can only dream of ….


The call of the cuckoo echoing behind Maytime blossoms;

Swooping swallows dancing before me;

The river gurgling under the old iron bridge

My father crossed to school;

Bales of hay stacked in yellow, shorn fields of summer;



The lazy, ancient boreen meandering to the woods;

Red and purple flower bells chiming in my heart;

Wading through fat rolls of fog in the early morning yard;

Shimmering, varnished fields on a bright, frosty dawn;

Tall pine trees reaching towards bleak winter skies;

The forested mountain peak piercing heavy clouds,

Daring them to blanket the earth in soft, misty rain.


When I am there, I feel one with the earth,

The river, the trees, the sky.

The farm does not belong to me;

I belong to the farm.


I know it is waiting for me when I am far away,

Ready to resume where we left off.

Someday soon , I will wander its glorious fields;

Listening to its tree-line chatter once again;

Interpreting the whispers of its rustling leaves;

Simply savoring the stillness in my soul.




Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom



  1. Beautiful and evocative Mairead, full of love and longing.

  2. Lovely!

  3. Hi Mairead, beautiful prose and skillfully accented pictorial. I think I could hear a slow air playing as I read your poem,

    • Brian – This piece started out as a few random thoughts about our farm, but as I wrote, it started to take on a rhythm. I just had to break my words up into an open verse format. I used some photos I have of the farm from years ago. Next time I am home, I will be armed with my camera and will go snap happy as I wander through the fields. Glad you enjoyed this post.

  4. No one who ever worked those little square bales was sad to see the back of them. Nasty nasty nasty little things. Nowadays you drive the loader into a 1/2ton bale and tip it into a feeder. Foddering can be done in 20 mins where it would have taken most of a day before.
    Can you remember the mantra of how you stack them in the field after they’ve been made. hint; it’s about the knots.

    • Vince – I spent my childhood in Dublin, but every summer we were recruited for bringing in the hay in Cork. I spent hours stacking and lifting bales with my uncle, father, mother and sisters. I don’t actually remember the mantra you refer to. If you get a chance please let us know here in the comments.
      Picking potatoes, and cutting and stacking turf, are two other tough jobs my kids will never know.
      All the best,

      • So the rain would runoff the stack of bales the knot had to be at the bottom. So the mantra went ‘knots down and out’.
        You see the machine made the bale under compression. This pushed the strands of hay all one direction. So if you stacked or stooked with the knot up the rain would run into the heart of the bale rotting it.
        And recruited is NOT the word. Dragooned is one Pressed is another.

        • Vince – Thanks so much for the old mantra ‘knots down and out.’ I remember being told to stack the bales with the strands running down, balancing four against each other. When I am old and grey and talking to me grandchildren, I will tell them stories of how I was dragooned into saving the hay.

  5. You made me long for it, too, Mairead, and I’ve never even been there! :) Hope you get to visit again soon!

  6. Welcome to America! Beautiful music to my eyes this morning. What talent you have to put in words for me how I feel about being away for so long from the farm here in America that I grew up on! I loved the earth that I knew… the sowing… the harvest… and all in between. Thank you for the memories and the tears.

    • So glad you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane this morning, Mary. I have lived in America for over twenty years now, but I still miss our farm, the rhythm of life, and all my lovely memories of childhood running through those fields. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.
      Best wishes,


  1. […] Memories Of An Irish Farm | Irish American Mom. […]

  2. […] The other half of Mairead’s site involves the getting to know the American culture as she adapts to her new country. Mairead tells the stories of her past intertwined with her current insights of being Irish-American. Oh and her husband eats well as she also post many of her Irish food favorites at […]

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