The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Nine Waves

Listen to Brian ...
Our gods, the Tuath deDanann
once lived on Ireland, free.
They warred and sang and loved
till we made them into sídhe.

Their three foolish kings killed a man
for being far too sensible
so we humans sailed across each sea
to show their word was indefensible.

These kings agreed that if we sailed
nine waves out from the shore,
Ireland would be all ours
when we landed, they three swore.

But a magic storm did whip the sea
into a dreadful wail
sailors were flung into its depths
no ship left with its sail.

Amergin was our leader, and soaked
he was still a poet.
He climbed and clung to the storm itself
and in verse, asked Ireland to slow it.

He asked for no possession
no forest in submission,
no wolf to heel, or river to kneel
he solely sought the land's permission.

The storm it stopped, the land consented
to end the three kings era.
But the foolish three kept not their word
and so we fought with Eire.

As Gods fought us they shrunk
and fled, without the island’s grace,
into the hills, to fairies be
stewing in their disgrace.

So never forget these lesson two
from this tale of adversaries;
we partner with, not own, our land
and be careful if you see fairies.

About the Writer

Brian Mackenwells

Brian Mackenwells is an Irish writer, living in Oxford. Despite being quite tired, he has written for the BBC Boring Talks about pencils, told stories on stage about not getting sick in zero gravity, performed standup about strange superheroes, co-wrote a full-cast audio drama every month for five years, and his Irish-language film-poem ‘Cur Síos‘ was chosen for the ‘Irish Selection’ category at the 2021 “ó bhéal” Irish poetry festival.