The meeting of the waters

The meeting of the waters

That summer’s day
           we drove north of Arklow
up to Avoca to where
           the two rivers meet
and we parked the car
           and strolled down
to the water’s edge
           and my father
put a finger to his lips
           to hush us
so that we could hear
           the gentle rustle
of the streams
           as they merged
above the copper-
           coloured stones
that line the shallow bed
           and the sun was high
and hot and the air fresh
           and for a moment
we stood still and immersed
           in the innocence
of my father’s
           younger years

John Lyons

Uncle Matt

Uncle Matt

My father’s uncle Matt
           a quiet gentle man
who enjoyed a pint
           and would dress
for the occasion
           in his Sunday best

I remember
           his black leather boots
placed neatly
           at the side of the bed
and how quietly
           he slept

He was from Arklow
           and was often a lodger
but I never knew
           what he did nor did I ask
and so light on his feet
           he’d come and go like a ghost
and his brogue so soft
           you’d hardly hear
a single word :
           that’s all I can say

John Lyons

Arklow

A very touching new poem from friend of the blog, Molly Rosenberg.


Arklow

A deep gnawing in my heart
An urgency pressing into my thoughts
A deep desire to return to the land and people
From whence my blood has sprung.

A short air space away.
Maybe a journey through
Glassy green waves as
In the old days.

I crave the sound of those dear voices
Long to laugh with them and hear
The stories that only they can tell
And I can hear again and again.

I need to go before it is too late
Before the shadows are all that are left
The memories of sandy days,
The cows down the back lane
The chickens by the gate.

The smell of gorse and salt.
Blackberry and apple
Soda bread and breac 
Just memories that I
Can almost taste.

But it is the people
That I am missing
The need to be with
Them grows stronger
As the days and years pass.

Molly Rosenberg

Walking home from Christmas

Walking home from Christmas

The stillness of the night
               barely a hint of drizzle
the full cold moon
               hidden by clouds
quiet deserted roads
               houses festooned
with fairy lights
               some flashing
some more sober
                Here and there a reindeer
illuminated on a front lawn
                A grey squirrel crosses my path
as I stroll over the railway bridge
                Will that bring good luck I wonder
Do I need any more good luck ?

I’ve just come away
               from my brother’s house
saw him playing lovingly on the floor
               with twins Faith and Hope
six months old on their first Christmas
                : and sitting at the table
their great-grandmother
               a Sweeney out of Arklow
all those years ago
               She didn’t know me
but years ago she’d known me for years
               still she smiled
and gave me a hearty kiss
               content in her own
parallel world
               in which she is surrounded
by Faith and Hope
               and so much love

John Lyons