"Dingle Bound Epiphany June 1990"

“Dingle. An Epiphany - June 199o.”

 

A drunken punt on Slippy Blue,

Winner of the Greyhound Derby

At seventeen to two

Meant I was rich – temporarily.

  

So I set off on a random journey.

Head for the airport maybe,

Take the first flight anywhere.

 

A "Holiday in Ireland," poster

On the railway station wall

Appealed to me. 

I bought a coach ride to Tralee,

 

The stretch, from Dublin to Kerry passed 

In a manner best described 'hazy'.

I blame the Guinness I drunk on the ferry.

 

Strangers, new friends, 

Fellow travellers 

Dissolved from the coach.

Melting into alleyways 

Of unremarkable villages

Promising to keep in touch,

But never would.

 

Each parting is a little death. 

A warm up for the bigger deal.
We hug goodbyes, offering,

"Call in any time you’re passing.”

 

Empty words to ease the ache of separating.

 

Sitting in a Tralee café,

Drinking sour tea from a dusty cup,

A placard announced the Dingle Fleadh –

 

 “Grand Craic - And Not That Far From Where You Are.”

 

I thumbed a lift with a sheep farmer.  

He stopped at a fork to drop me off.

“Dingle's that way. Sláinte.”

 

I was still hung over, 

Retching behind a dry stone wall

Regretting rancid tea

And Guinness excess on the ferry.

 

A passing goat gobbled a sandal.

I whacked at the bastid with the other till

Off it shot, with its mouthful of leather.

 

I looked West where the sun

Should have been setting. 

Instead the sky had turned

An effulgent golden bluish.

 

The deep Kerry silence was short lived

From behind a back-lit

Thicket of thorns,

With ‘Charlton Heston’ thunder,

A sinaitic voice intoned,

 

"YOU WILL NEVER KNOW TRUE HAPPINESS IN THIS LIFE."

A bald fact baldly stated.

Take it or leave it - no debate.

 

Like Moses struck that desert rock,

Setting off a gushing flow,

That, “You will never know...”

Was a smashing blow.

 

My rock hard heart split open

Tears flushed from me

Not misty eyed snivelling  -

But stomach churning 

Visceral shuddering sobs 

Erupting from a dormant 

Internal artesian well.

Cars slowing to offer lifts

Sped away at the sight of me.

No one wanted a crazy,

Dripping, shoeless, hippy

Soiling their shiny vinyl

Leather look upholstery.

 

I climbed aboard a rattling bus, 

Crammed with catholic mothers 

These crossed themselves and

To avoid the gaze of the 

Wild eyed guy stumbling the aisle

Stared fixedly through dirty windows

Fascinated by the all too familiar view.

The only space was at the back 

Beside a seat half eaten by 

A ruminating tethered goat that

Cast a weather eye over my feet

Then carried on consuming

The remains of the seat

He had been gnawing.

 

Dingle was packed for the fleadh.

I squirmed into Feeney’s Bar.

The place was rammed.

Standing room only

Except where I sat 

Steeped in misery.

 

Nobody joined me.
Cain’s mark set me apart.

 

The call went out for a

Volunteer floor singer

While the band took a break

For a pee and a pint.  

 

I cannot explain the whys and hows,

But I found myself on my feet, compelled to sing

By some burning bubbling up within me.

 

The bar filled with a ‘Presence’

As I sang  - ‘sean nos’ –

In a tongue unknown to me -

A song that quieted the crowd

With its lilting melancholy.

One or two hummed along with me.

 

I was uplifted beyond ecstasy.

Flooded with unspeakable joy –

Years later I wallow in the memory.

 

Owing to Guinness flowing freely.  

Laughter too with new best buddies

The song faded – I wish I could recover it.

I know I’ll sing it again some day

Not in this lifetime perhaps.

 

The night passed as a dream and

The next and the next after that. 

 

Homesickness and dwindling cash

Caught up with me.

 

I hailed a taxi to Tralee. 

Making the driver stop  -

“Just a moment, please.”

At the fork where ‘Heston’ intervened

And pulled my rug of life away.

 

The driver thought I was a ‘header’

Shouting at a vacant sky  

Asking God why

He wanted to spoil my holiday 

With that prophecy

 

 “You will never be truly happy…”

 

Or if He was after marking my card

That life is always going to be hard

 

And decided to enlighten me  

Somewhat enigmatically?

 

               

The unknown song from Feeney’s Bar

 

Tiocfaidh A Samhradh      

        

Tiocfaidh an samhradh               
Agus fásfaidh an féar
Tiocfaidh an duilliúr ghlas
Ar bharr na gcraobh
Tiocfaidh mo rúinsearc
Le bánú an lae
Agus buailfidh sí túin suas
Le cumha 'mo dhiaidh

 

Summer Will Come:

 

Summer will come
Grass will grow
Green leaves will sprout
On the treetops
My true love will come
At the break of day
And strike up a tune
Out of loneliness for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

◄ "R.I.P. Hubbard (Larry) LaFarge"

“The Orkney Spring of Bradley Driver - Easter 1995” ►

Comments

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Rick Gammon

Sun 8th Jan 2017 23:09

Yes, Suki, this is the closer to the book - the book is at the printer - I have 82 pomes in it - it starts with one about dancing as the book is a kinda dance through my life and experience and ends at Dingle - the rest are in no order at all except that created by a random number generator.
I'll let you know when it's out and i'll send you a copy ?

Rick.

p.s. you might notice that I have reposted this here with the revised final final final very last version as per me book - the ending is altered a little to get rid of a couple of clunky lines and odd words here and there too.

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suki spangles

Sun 8th Jan 2017 15:05

Rick, this will be a brilliant closer to your book. Please put it in! Suki

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Rick Gammon

Tue 27th Dec 2016 02:04

to M.C. Newberry: It was quite a trip. ?

to Raypool: I'll certainly let you know when the book is done. All being well, and since I'll have nowt to do with publishers, it's a straight print job - around 400-500 copies and ought to be mid January - the editing is ongoing - that ends on Dec 31, win lose or draw.

Thanks both for your kind comments - I'm in the thralls of, "It's all crap" at the moment - twas ever thus ?

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raypool

Mon 26th Dec 2016 20:36

Can you let me know where and when a copy of your book is available Rick. (seriously). You have me by the balls every time, and this is a carousing wonder.

You've made my day. Ray

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 26th Dec 2016 17:36

I think my late mother would have cast an eye over this
post and observed "It's the Irish in him!". I found myself
impelled down the lines - as if alongside its writer on his
travels. Absorbing, uplifting and memorable by turn.

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Rick Gammon

Mon 26th Dec 2016 07:39

This is a true story - mostly - I'll leave the veracity to others. The epiphany was real though. It turned my guts and my life upside down.
I read it recently at a do - just auditioning it - as I told the crowd as I was unsure of it - as I began it was clearly a dud - 1/3 through I stopped, apologised then, being a tad impish, I told them that since I suffered writing it they could endure it too ?
I went home and took it apart - ripped out chunks and redid it adding a mystical element missing from the actualité - which was much more prosaic involving a rather crude drinking song ?
I like the idea that this will be the closing pome in me book. The Gaelic song is rather lovely by The Bothy Band ?

Thanks, Colin ?

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Rick Gammon

Sun 25th Dec 2016 14:41

If this passes muster it will be the closer to my book due at printer in first days of January ?

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