Leaving the Museum

by Blue Teapot Performing Arts School & Rab Fulton

We take a last look around before we leave.

Consider tools from when this land had no name

Or perhaps another that is lost from the long gone then

When we came as the sixth wave of invaders

To leave tools and tombs and tales for future generations.


A silhouette wolf snarls at the top of the stairs,

A cloak waits like a wraith in a glass display,

Reminders of another age, another Ireland –

Tíre mac tíre – the land of the sons of the land.


Here are pistols from a battle in the train station that later

Would take on the designation of the piper who made the pope dance,

And the weaponry become toys for children shouting bang bang

As they play cops and robbers in their back garden.


A globe magically showing pictures of seas and ships,

Then transforming into a graph tolling 

The impact of man-made climate change,

Then a map of the lands of the earth. One of the lads points at an

Ocean distant island. I come from there.


Our existence as a nation undeniable, yet

Like wind and ocean and the dynamic coastline and the

Seeding, dying, growing of the seasons,

Ever mutable. 


Considering Éamonn, Peg and Liam I wonder, who will take us –

The story, the memory, the contradictions of us – 

Carefully and with all due comedy and reverence 

Into their safekeeping a hundred years hence?


Perhaps that is not something to worry about

In this heart beat shiny bead never to repeat

Ever living ever passing moment.


When we leave the sky is clear.

The Corrib is churning.

The white line on the late medieval Spanish Arch

Shows how high all too soon the seas will reach,

A reminder that no democracy is yet complete

When no account is taken of the needs and welfare

Of this and future generations.


So declared the women, men and children

During the decade of revolutions.

In January 2023, students from Blue Teapot Performing Arts School joined poet and storyteller Rab Fulton for two Poetry as Commemoration workshops. The group were shown items from the Galway City Museum collection and, as a group, composed a collaborative sequence of poems. Founded in 1996, Blue Teapot is an award winning theatre company that transforms theatre practices by telling stories through the lens of disability. The students from Blue Teapot who took part in this workshop include Damien Quinn, Robert Coomber, Elizabeth Brennan, Catherine Mulkerrin, Francis Carr, Stanlin Joy Hirang, Mary Grace Best-Lydon, Aidan Thomas and Roksana Kazmierska.