Limerick poet pays tribute to Martin Folan

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Sadly missed: Well-loved artist Martin Folan, who lived in Wolfe Tone Street, died this time last year
A LEADING local poet has penned a tribute to a well-loved artist, who sadly passed away last year.

A LEADING local poet has penned a tribute to a well-loved artist, who sadly passed away last year.

Teri Murray of Lord Edward Street, penned the piece, which she says is “a tribute to a very good friend”.

It is in memoriam of Martin’s former neighbour Kate Hennessy, and “the many friends who have loved him.”

“He was a man from Dublin, but was a well-known artist in Limerick,” Teri says, “I knew him, and I liked him, and we were such good friends. He lived in Limerick for a long time, despite being born in Dublin. You would remember him, a big tall guy with black hair.”

Teri took four days to write the piece, a recognition of how dear the artist was to her and to the city’s arts community.

“He was a very good good man, he had a lovely manner, and was great to people He had loads of friends who were great to him too,” Teri added.

In memoriam: Martin Folan. For Kate Hennessy and the many friends who have loved him.

On afternoons when I went

Into Saint Joseph’s for a quiet prayer

Martin was there,

Standing on a plank on scaffolding

Painting the walls or ceiling.

A Michelangelo from Finglas

Closer to God then ,

Than I could ever hope to be.

On the glass, shards of a rainbow

Transubstantiated by sunlight

Into hosts of Amber, Amethyst

And Lapis Lazuli

That gathered at his feet,

Or splattered from bristles

Of a brush,on to his dark hair.

A familiar of the Architect Pugin

Fingers traced his pattern books

The designs for church interiors

Triangles and hexagons, fashioned

Into stars, bordered by gold on a page

Still bright, undimmed by time.

I miss the chance meetings

In Bobby Byrne’s shop

A coffee or glass of wine

When the evenings were cold,

Or passing his window

On a Summer morning

Always a spray of flowers on the sill

Leaves and petals

Shaking off the memory of night.

His image undimmed by the passing

Of the year, still bright, forever bright,

The wings on his white overalls,

Unfolding for flight.

This poem is part of Under a Linnet’s Wing, published by Eliza Press, available in O’Mahony’s bookshop, or through the Limerick Writers Centre at 087-2996409.