Saturday, March 19, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Rebel Song Haiku by Roberta Beary

English Original

st patrick's day
a rebel song that died
with my dad

tinywords, 19:1, 2019

Roberta Beary 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Roberta Beary writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. She coedited the  women’s haiku anthology Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press, 2018.) Her collections, The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press,  2007) and Deflection (Accents, 2015) are multiple award winners. She is haibun editor for Modern Haiku.

1 comment:

  1. L1 sets the theme and mood while Ls 2&3 lament the double loss the speaker experiences: the death of the speaker's father and the death of the rebellious spirit (manifested in a rebel song, L2)rooted in the once-religious-turned-boozy/secular holiday.

    A fresh and thematically and emotionally poignant take on St. Patrick's Day.

    FYI: Below is a relevant excerpt from "Montserrat’s St. Patrick’s Day Commemorates a Rebellion: On March 17, 1768, the enslaved people of a Caribbean island planned a revolt, assuming the Irish slave owners would be drunk and distracted.," accessed at

    Celebrated annually on March 17 all over the world, the Irish have observed St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday since sometime between the seventh and tenth century, when they would go to church to pay respects to St. Patrick, in the vein of other saints’ feast days. Some might also later attend a revel full of dancing, drinking, and a traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage, which was allowed just for this day, even though it was Lent.

    When the Irish emigrated to other parts of the world, they brought their traditions with them. It was in the United States where this once-religious holiday was turned into the boozy secular holiday we know today, an extravagant celebration of all things Irish.

    When most people think about spending St Patrick’s Day on the Emerald Isle, it’s Ireland that usually comes to mind. However, there’s a small island in the middle of the Caribbean where the majority of the population claims Irish heritage that also counts St Patrick’s Day as a national holiday. Known as the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean,” Montserrat’s Saint Patrick’s Day differs substantially from the American and Irish versions of the celebration. It commemorates the nine slaves who lost their lives in the failed slave rebellion of March 17, 1768.

    Although Montserratians have strong ties to their Irish roots now, that wasn’t true when the Irish first settled on the island, in the seventeenth century. Montserrat became a haven from English persecution. The Irish landed on this small island near St. Kitts and Nevis starting in 1632. It served as a place to escape the oppression from the English invasion by Oliver Cromwell, perhaps best described in this verse:

    The slow years passed and Cromwell’s Irish came.
    And found another Erin in your soil.