Lough Mask Poems

by John McGing

(Poetry written by my father)

Lough Mask you are so beautiful,
God made you long ago,
And when he had you finished,
He dropped you in Mayo.
We know how you get your water,
From the rivers and the streams,
But how you get rid of it,
It’s your secret all these years.

You were too smart for the British,
Who tried to control you without your consent
When they opened up the canal gates,
Only you know where the water went.
You refused to be controlled,
By strangers in our land,
They packed up and went to Egypt,
And built the Suez Canal.

We are leaving the east side of the lake,
Coming west to Churchfield shores,
The most beautiful scenery in the world,
is from here to Gortmore.
You can go to Maura Lukes,
It is a famous place,
Where they speak the Irish language,
And look down upon the lake.

You can ride along the lake,
From Shrah to Kilbride,
When you are going through Churchfield,
You are on Lake Shore Drive.
You can walk along the shore,
With you sweetheart by your side,
You can have a drink in Paddy’s Pub,
It is on Lake Shore Drive.

You can drink there for hours,
They will feed you hamburgers and fries,
And you do not have to worry,
About getting mugged on Lake Shore Drive.
You can climb the cliffs in Churchfield,
And see Lough Corrib and Lough Conn,
And see Ashford Castle,
In the historic village of Cong.

The lads from Gortnacuflen,
Derryveeney and Carraduff,
They can see the lake at a distance,
And they think that’s good enough.
They are not like the Churchfield lads,
They do not have much pride,
I guess they feel guilty,
For not being born on Lake Shore Drive.

All the people over there,
From Shangort to Treenlaur,
Can not understand
Why Churchfield got it all.
We pick them up in our big cars,
And take them for a ride,
They really get excited,
When they get to Lake Shore Drive.

I am standing here on the cliffs,
With tears in my eyes,
Looking down on the grave yard,
Where all my people lie.
There are strange names now in Churchfield,
Strangers on our shores,
But the scenery never changes,
From here to Gortmore.

I will ramble over to Paddy's Pub,
Like my father did before,
I will have the crack, with Mick Vath,
I will drink whiskey and some beer.
I will raise my glass
To beautiful Lough Mask,
And all the Muenter Shear.

John McGing
Enid Lake, Mississippi
December 16, 1995

Lough Mask Part II

Your islands look so peaceful,
Your waters so blue and clear,
A fisherman fishing silently,
With all his home-made gear,
He uses just a hook and line,
To catch his favorite fish,
The rainbow and the brown trout,
Are his favorite dish.

The boat he is in, he built himself,
From the finest spruce and oak.
He does not need styrofoam or fiberglass,
To keep his boat afloat.
He does not use engine power,
To push it through the waves,
His strong arms on the oars,
He is experienced, determined, and brave.

The foreigners have not discovered Lough Mask
And that makes the locals glad,
They don’t want to see it polluted,
Like lakes in foreign lands.
They brag about Killarney Lakes,
And California Lake Tahoe,
They come in second-best,
To Lough Mask in Mayo.


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