Washed Ashore

Every month or two,

Some merciful vagary of current or tide,

Carries a body to shingle shore or sandy slob.

From Lough Corrib and the Galway river to the Claddagh Basin,

Washed ashore.

In off Blackrock with the white horses of Galway Bay,

Washed ashore.

Posters along the Eglinton Canal,

Knots of family and friends scrutinising its still, slow waters.

Questions in the Corrib Village and outside the Hardiman Library:

Have You Seen This Man?

From Lough Corrib and the Galway river to the Claddagh Basin,

Washed ashore.

In off Blackrock with the white horses of Galway Bay,

Washed ashore.

You have felt the black water calling you from time to time.

How easy it would be to slip into the cascades below the Salmon Weir Bridge.

The turbid, peaty ferment would swallow you up,

And you would be no more by the time you had been shunted down to O’Brien’s Bridge.

From Lough Corrib and the Galway river to the Claddagh Basin,

Washed ashore.

In off Blackrock with the white horses of Galway Bay,

Washed ashore.

There have been too many young men, dreaming of peace,

Of a false, fools’ paradise after a watery end.

The sirens’ song gushing and roaring from river banks, bridge abutments and weirs,

Calls to and beguiles the despair-maddened, rudderless young pilots.

How can we tell them to follow Odysseus,

To let us tie them to the mast, to ride the storm of this seduction until it has passed,

And then find home?

From Lough Corrib and the Galway river to the Claddagh Basin,

Washed ashore.

In off Blackrock with the white horses of Galway Bay,

Washed ashore.

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About ucronin

Born in the country town of Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland in 1975, I now live in Madrid with my partner and two young daughters and work in a research institute. While I was always a hungry reader and harboured vague notions of being a writer, as a young man writing was the furthest thing from my mind; after leaving school, I did a B.Sc. in Biotechnology in Galway's NUI, an M.Sc. in Plant Science in University College Cork and a Ph.D. in Microbiology in the University of Limerick, the plan being to dedicate my professional career to scientific research. While having written extensively within my technical scientific field, I had never contemplated becoming a writer of fiction until a road-to-Damascus moment on the N69 between Listowel and Tarbert, Co. Kerry in the summer of 2011. Since then, most of my spare time has been occupied with writing. In whatever other free moments I have, I like to listen to music, play the guitar and garden (which here in Madrid means a lot of watering of plants and spraying for red spider mite). My ambition is to become as good a writer as I possibly can, eventually freeing myself from the cold clutches of science and earning a living through my scribblings. The type of writing that excites me is honest, intelligent, well-constructed and richly descriptive.
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