31 March 2006

Outside the Barracks, Friday at sundown

30 March 2006

John McGahern died today

The woman behind the counter in a shop in Carrick-on-Shannon wiped her tears. We had just heard the news, a text on my mobile. "I'd never met him," she said, "but he was a wonderful man." He'll be laid to rest in Aughawillan on Saturday.
The newscaster on RTE tonight broke with journalistic "objectivity" when she uttered "May God rest his soul" in Irish before moving on to the next item. Wouldn't see that on CNN.

18 March 2006

Poem Eight: A Story From Effrinagh

He dangled in the air.
The rope was made of flax.
The trial wasn't fair.
He dangled in the air
Beside the courthouse where
The truth got mauled by facts.
He dangled in the air.
The rope was made of flax.
+ + +
Retrieval is an art.
She saved the piece of rope
That yanked his life apart.
Retrieval is an art.
The cure worked on the heart
With flax and words and hope.
Retrieval is an art.
She saved the piece of rope.

06 March 2006

Urinal Interlude

Now that we're moving into springtime (in Ireland at least), I suggest visitors to the Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon venture outside to the back of the building and take a look at the Victorian urinal there. Yes, urinal. It used to be rusty and nearly obscured and destroyed by ivy (as in my pre-renovation photo), but it's now been saved, brushed up and sprayed with flashy silver paint. To think this thing might have just succumbed to ivy and rust.... It's a fun relic from the past, especially the words of warning (see photo) that are stamped into the iron above each, um, user's position. For those urinal-spotters among us, it's from a cast ironworks in Glasgow. Yet another innovative contraption from our Scottish brothers and sisters.