Poetry / Poets

Painting the Street Green Tipperary Hill, Syracuse, New York by Martin Willitts

We are not ones to let facts get in the way, but —
Tipperary Hill has a tradition
old as shamrocks and green beer.
With a little chicanery and leprechaun’s luck,
our traffic light hangs opposite
so green is where it belongs.
Many a shillelagh was used to knock some sense
into the local politician’s heads
But some of them were so thick-headed,
it took a lot of mischief and rotten cabbage
to convince them of our stony wisdom.
We even built a statue commemorating the fine lads
who stoned the original traffic light
because it put the cursed British red on top.
Nowadays such people would be called hooligans,
but they were heroes I tell you.
We called those stones Irish Confetti.
We showed them a thing or two.
But my grandma reminds me; she had a stone or two
hidden in her apron
big as the Blarney Stone.

Every year we celebrate
by pouring green paint on the street
with the only traffic light hanging the right way.
We still pray for all the poor souls in Purgatory
for lying about being a part of that glorious day.


One thought on “Painting the Street Green Tipperary Hill, Syracuse, New York by Martin Willitts

  1. Martin Willitts Jr retired as a Senior Librarian and is living in Syracuse, New York. He is currently a volunteer literacy tutor, and editor of Willet Press. He is a visual artist of Victorian and Chinese paper cutouts. He was nominated for 5 Pushcart and 3 Best Of The Net awards. He has print chapbooks “Falling In and Out of Love” (Pudding House Publications, 2005), “Lowering Nets of Light” (Pudding House Publications, 2007), The Garden of French Horns” (Pudding House Publications, 2008), “Baskets of Tomorrow” (Flutter Press, 2009), “The Girl Who Sang Forth Horses” (Pudding House Publications, 2010), “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for Cezanne” (Finishing Line Press, 2010), “Why Women Are A Ribbon Around A Bomb” (Last Automat, 2011), “Protest, Petition, Write, Speak: Matilda Joslyn Gage Poems” (Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, 2011), “Secrets No One Wants To Talk About” (Dos Madres Press, 2011), “How to Find Peace” (Kattywompus Press, 2012), “Playing The Pauses In The Absence Of Stars” (Main Street Rag, 2012), and “No Special Favors” (Green Fuse Press, 2012). He has three full length books “The Secret Language of the Universe” (March Street Press, 2006), and “The Hummingbird” (March Street Press, 2009), and “The Heart Knows, Simply, What It Needs: Poems based on Emily Dickinson, her life and poetry” (Aldrich Press, 2012). His forthcoming poetry books include “Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content, 2013), “Art Is the Impression of an Artist” (Edgar and Lenore’s Publishing House, 2013), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), “A Is For Aorta” (Seven Circles Press, e-book, 2013), and “Swimming In the Ladle of Stars” (Kattywompus Press, 2013).

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