Frank Maguire
A modest disposal
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By Frank Maguire
May 21, 2010

Back in 1997, my wife Helen, my sister Anne (with an "e") Marie Beauchamp, and I did some traveling in Ireland, the land of my ancestors. There was a hiatus in the "troubles," and things were as quiet as one should expect things to get on the lovely Emerald Isle.

The European Union (EU) was working toward its idealized coalition, an idealization I thought to be (and my thoughts are being confirmed every day) fantastical. And Ireland, despite the history of internecine, mutuamente destructivo, hatred, appeared to be prospering.

We three travelers covered much of the country, north, south, east, and west, and we focused upon Fermanagh, land of the Maguires. We visited the vestige of Maguire's Castle, in lovely Enniskillen, now a military museum, which sits on Ireland's largest lake, Loch Erne.

All seemed idyllic. But it wasn't. There was a sense of unrest in Ireland similar to that we had seen in Paris, London, and Madrid. And it had to do with the burgeoning influx of immigrants, some who were emigrating from their native land in the desire to become citizens of their country of destination, and some who came, both by formal channels and back channels, to get work which was not available to them in their own countries.

We see, in the U.S., the same...problem. Afraid to call it a problem? In its present manifestation, it is a serious problem, by any honest measurement. Now, before I hear the thoughts "racist," "xenophobe," "isolationist," I will present a pre-emptive defense. We Arizonans are a bit...testy about this issue, presently.

My wife is Hispanic. My children are Irish-Hispanic-Yaqui Indian-Christian (by His grace and our submission), and, by G-d, we are proud of it.

I have grandchildren with bright red hair, and complexions that indicate very little evidence of melanin, and great grandchildren who are a colorful array — Black, Brown, and all those subtle shades produced by inherited quantities of melanin. And, by G-d, we are proud of this miscegenation of peoples-groups.

Racists are, by the way, those, who like our census takers, insist upon knowing what Race a person is. They separate by Race, thus perpetuating racism. Non-Racists, which includes my entire family, know that there is only one Race. That Race created by God — the Human Race!

That settled (?) among the fair minded, I offer a poem I wrote a few years after our Irish/European experience after having read a commentary in The Irish Times. It is Swiftian, in the manner of his famous satire "A Modest Proposal."


A Modest Disposal

by Frank Maguire 1997

This poem is based upon observation made while in Europe and upon this article by writer Cullen. "Influx of asylum-seekers causes concern," by Paul Cullen, The Irish Times 26 May, 1997.

Oh Paddy dear now have you heard of all the immigration?
They're flockin' into Ireland, every branch and every twig.
There's gypsies from Romania (much to my perturbation),
From Arab lands, from Zeye-ear, and the — erias, Alg- and Nig-.

They're floatin' in on freighters, and they're passin' in by plane;
I wouldn't be surprised they might be walkin'.
They say they want "asylum," but from what? I've asked in vain;
Not a word I understand, with all their talkin'.

There's bigger ones and smaller ones, some white, but most blue-collar ones,
Dependin' upon schemes as how what's not theirs is spent.
There's husbands, wives, and cousins, with their daughters and their sons,
Expectin' us to pay for all the "rent."

Politicians tell us economic union is desired —
That the world's a great deal smaller in our Age;
But what if all asylum-seekin' aliens are hired?
Sure, that which just gets smaller is my wage.

Now, we've always been a liberal and a charitable race,
As is evidenced by those whom we've elected;
Bur foreigners just streamin' in to occupy our space?
When we voted thus, it's not what we expected.

Paddy, love, I'm not at all against extending alms;
My right hand's been a stranger to my left.
But politicians preempt Matthew, Proverbs, and the Psalms,
Transmutatin' charity to theft.

The Garda tells us, Paddy, that this year six-thousand more,
Some waivin' entry visas and some not,
With our pol's redstributin', blithely dealin' out the doles,
So's to guarantee a chicken in each pot.

I've a copy of The Times which says the average application
For asylum can take upwards of three years;
But to keep some of our wages, we just keep 'em on vacation,
And maintain 'em while they're idle, as compeers.

Ah, Paddy dear, each day I'm on my knees just thankin God,
Sure, there isn't one that passes I don't pray,
That as an EU member, makin' chips or catchin' cod,
No foreign pol's dismemberin' my pay.

© Frank Maguire

 

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Frank Maguire

Frank Maguire was born in Dorchester, MA, 1938, attended schools in Massachusetts, California, and Arizona, where he completed degrees in music and English writing/Journalism. Frank has been married to Helen Isabel Maguire née Estevez of Culver City, California, since 1957. They have six children, 14 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

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