For August's Poem of the Month, I have chosen the poem 'Joseph Phillips' by Gerry McDonnell
It is taken from his collection I Heard an Irish Jew.












JOSEPH PHILLIPS

Here I lie in Ballybough Cemetery
at the West Wall,
Row II, North to South,
buried in a white shroud.
Under my head,
turned slightly to face east,
a bag of earth from Israel.
You’d pass me by easily enough,
since I’m without a headstone.
Stolen, one drunken night,
it’s serving as a hearthstone
in a house on nearby Richmond Road.
My grandson saw it there, poor boy,
while playing with his Catholic friend.
It reads –

Joseph Phillips, son of Uri. Native of Gorsd, Poland.
d. 6th. Kislev, 5640 (1879) aged 75.

That’s me.
I made a living peddling wares
and selling pious pictures
to my Catholic neighbours.