We had the good fortune to explore Northern Ireland with Ken McElroy, tour guide, poet and playwright. He would burst into spontaneous verse, and paired with those beauteous surroundings, it made the experience so much more special. Ken sent us this wonderful poem, and we are delighted to share it with you:

The Magic Shilling by Ken Mc Elroy.

“I still can see the shilling in my father’s hand,

Which I took with hasty thanks and ran,

Across the street, then through the swinging doors,

Into a land of make believe and dreams.


The shilling passed across the desk, and in its place

Came back a ticket red or sometimes blue or green,

Which in its turn, became a key to that dark world upstairs,

Where for a while, I lived a fantasy.


A place where Cowboys rode the dusty Texas plains,

And Apache Indians chased wild Buffalo,

Where Samson blinded pulled the Temple down,

And lithesome dancers waltzed a young Monroe.


Where Gable cried “He didn’t give a damn”

And Taylor’s Cleopatra graced the Nile,

Here Captain Marvel would hurtle through the sky,

To save mankind if only for a while.


Too soon we fellow travellers of this twilight world,

Would leave our land of make believe behind,

And spill on to an empty village street,

Where Buffalo or Brave had never roamed.


Yet for a while I’d flown above the small ill slated roofs,

Transported by that well worn silver coin,

Which once taken from my fathers giving hand,

Became a magic carpet for a child.”