Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day. A year to the day I wrote a blog post that detailed my relationship, or lack of, with my father. I read it again this morning. A year later, the date stamp may well just read, “first written, July 21, 2015”. Nothing has changed; the hopes, the dreams, the courage and the strength to reach across the void that is father / son loom no closer. If they exist at all, they are fleeting and evanesce behind the love and immediacy of me as a father to my own children.

This week, we said goodbye to my father in law. He was a gentleman of a man. Standing tall, proud and strong, he defined himself as a husband and a father to nine. He never knew his own father, killed like so many others in the fields of France during World War 2. We would frequently sit in the garden during my summer retreats from the oppressive heat of the UAE, and put the world to right, all in one night. He would gently nudge me towards believing in myself and never allowing anyone to traduce my own belief in me. Throughout the 23 years I knew him, something also evanesced behind love- the in law, after father.

 To John Francis Tierney, and my Fiona…

 A Proud son of John and Eleanor, and of liberty

God’s ultimate gift surrendered so we might know free

A service number 269978 and three, but

A father, A husband, doomed youth, only 30


‘XV.K19’ the ‘grave’ reference at Bayeaux,

A Celtic soul , feel privileged me and you

To give so much, tragic and humbling let it be

‘Proud beats the heart, Jane, Francis and John Tierney’


Hills of Mary and Ruch, grey, inauspicious say some

A Father, A friend, the gentleman has come

Loved by many, sons, daughters, wife and brother

Humanities gain, to find another


To the Highlands, unbreakable love began

Unfaltering, authentic, sincere, fete or plan?

God’s – metaphysical when two becomes one

Ulliam’s daughter and Michael Francis’s son


To touch, enrich, for many beyond reach

To John, Family as love ran so deep

Life a blueprint, of feelings so sincere

His wife and children in his heart, forever near


Nine began with twins, Maureen and Lorraine,

Michael, Iain, Fiona, Mark, Catherine- ease the pain

A move to a home, came also Vincent and Claire

Humanities reparation to John did bear


 A father who stands so proud and tall

Defined through family deepens a tragic fall

Eleven becomes the metaphor for all

His greatest love, immeasurable beyond all


In our minds and hearts, forever here

January 2003, enveloped all with fear

Yet, a Celtic soul unwilling to yield, now

Embracing Michael Francis at the Elysium Field.



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2 Responses to Father’s Day

  1. Danny Mallon says:

    Lovely thoughts Mark. I am sorry to hear of his passing. I didn`t know until after SRG meeting.
    God rest his soul.

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