Written when visiting the Martello Tower outside Dublin
Where Joyce once saw white breasts children swam
Laughing in the shadow of the stern stone sentry
Baked paties and burnt bodies by the carnival cove
Where an Attica green sea clung to grey brown rocks
And people peed among the weeds.
What was it that started Joyce on his odd oddyssey?
To see in Mr Bloom an answer to life's long ironies.
What would Joyce make of it now with Mothercare strollers and dog dirt littering the way?
And the Dun Loaghhair ferries pumping prime drinkers
Into the Dublin bars.
The bloody English bursting with money and indigestion Joyce wrote.
And yet here were his own folk
counting those ferry passengers as so much money in the bank
Polluting the sea
and paying a pound for a pint of stout.
At the Portuma bar in the golden west
A bald fresh faced man with smiling eyes
Talked of living off a British pension.
For forty years he had worked as Wolverhampton pastry cook
And now he had returned to die by the Shannon.
Joyce he said I've never read the man
but what about O'Conaire he asked
and his stories of the travelling people.
Padraic O'Conaire who sits forever in Eyre Square Galway
Along with the other memory stones of the patriot Mellows and some one called JFK.
The Americans don't come as much as they did.
It is mostly Germans who are sick in our streets
and throw dead fish back in the Shannon.
Why can't we have more television he asked
The same telly as they have in England?
Joyce oh Joyce where are your songs
and stories of an unforgiving heaven?
Or is it life's unremitting cycle
to make friends of enemies
And share the same sins of ignorance and bliss.
There is a folksy flavor to this wonderful poem. It is rich in imagery and invites the reader in with warmth. The welcoming feeling is nicely tempered by a certain control or restraint in the construction of this composition. There is wisdom that emanates from between the lines that can come only from experience. Looking forward to reading more.