a random revison from new book 'chatting with Saoirse'

as winter yields
and April fades to May
the lengthening days
stirred cannabis haze
and Tullamore Dew

tinted memories
of that summer we shared
on Árainn Mhór:  


you lying in the sun
reading the thickest books

we found yellowing

in a Dungloe shop window;
illustrated Life of Brian scripts,
The Last Temptation of Christ,

you liked them both –
and you, an atheist.


naked splashing

in a spring-water rock pool
warmed in the sun
flushed by the tide.


timeless campfire twilights

tilting into darkness

as the Earth turned slowly.


I drank too much ‘Tullamore’

while you sipped rum.


you, lying on talc-soft 
passionate sand

beneath a parasol
with a wisp of gauze draped -
for decency’s sake -
casually across your thighs

captivated me.


you laid ‘The Temptation’ aside

as I walked toward you
and I swear to God,
that in your face
I saw the face of God.


and your welcome smile
was His smile
and your wide-open arms
were His arms
and your acceptance of me

into your very self
was His acceptance.


I couldn’t wait to meet up again:

I hopped the ferry from Burtonport 
and rode my bike up past the Lough
to the old lighthouse

where you spent long hours
painting watercolours
and wanted to settle
but the cancer feasting inside you
consumed you


remember the day

I buried your ashes
in that amphora

you brought from Syria?


I planted an asphodel
and on a flat chalk stone

inscribed a memorial,


“here lies my brief miracle”


weathered by winters
the inscription has faded

no wording remains.


I’ll toast your health

with a Captain Morgan.

it tastes of your hugs
it embraces my soul.

you are near

you are

so very near.


after the bottle’s done

I’ll head to the shore
to find another

white stone marker,
and on it I’ll write,


“tread gently for Saoirse dreams here.”


◄ Tulaigh Ua Thiomain (November 8 1987) (revision for next book)

Donegal Eden (revised) ►


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