Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Poetry Bus : Scalderville Request Stop

World Wide Weird. One of the other poets mentioned a bizarre coincidence in terms of the image this project threw up for them.

Now I've just had mine. Shvvvvvr. I went with the number 12. The 12th square linked me into the image archive of the Musée McCord in Montreal. The McCord Museum is a public research and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, study, diffusion and appreciation of Canadian history. Now here's the spooky part.

I counted down the page to image number 12, which turned out to be the photo of the august gentleman you see above. The caption describes him as "Mr. Whitney(?), Enniscorthy, Ireland, about 1885." An Irishman! What a coincidence, eh? Not major though - except that Enniscorthy is also my hometown, where I was born and raised. WTF? The universe is definitely trying to tell me something. Very 'Artists Way' indeed :-o

Enniscorthy is a beautiful place, culturally and historically rich, yet there's sadness too. The local landscape is dominated by Vinegar Hill, where the 1798 rebels were finally defeated, blasted back against the bare rock, as commemorated in Seamus Heaney's poem Requiem for The Croppies.

For a small enough town, it has produced a great many writers, including Anthony Cronin, Colm Toibin, Eamon Wall and - a more recent addition - Peter Murphy, whose novel John The Revelator, garnered noteworthy reviews and heavyweight fans.

Anyway, enough metaphysical tourism - how to deal with such a familiar subject in this particular context?

Around 1885

There was river traffic still
though the forest had long been cleared

In Deadwood they were mining seams
at home the gold was barley, harvested and brewed

Rabbits scattered - just as now - bared on stubble
cropped by hand, the season still the same

By the gate, Whitney saw a final coney jink to cover
opened his eyes to Montreal snow

© P Nolan 2010

And now, a warm Scalder welcome to my fellow Poetry Bus passengers. Tayto anyone?

Karen is thinking thrashy.

Rachel Fox Mad Max, the opera?

Dominic Rivron is having a Kiwi moment.

Enchanted Oak is laying down supplies.

Sandra Leigh is getting minty fresh.

Niamh B with a touch of Poe.

Titus the Dog is feeling a little 'ruff', yet experiencing the Poetry Bus twilight zone.

The Watercats are seeing Goblins.

Argent is time travelling.

The Bug is sizzling.

Jeanne Iris is setting sail.

Uiscebot is getting frisky.

Poetikat razzes the moneymen.

NanU is catching toads.

Swiss considers British algae.

Crazyfieldmouse is parched.

Pure Fiction is exorcising.

Great stuff and thanks to all!

The Poetry Bus conductor is hanging out the back with an outstretched hand for tardy travellers - make a dash for it!

* ADDENDUM * Here's a response to the prompt from my non-blogging friend, poet Chris Allen;

Not unlike the Trees at Dyrehaven

Tomorrow in this place the sun will shine,
The choirs of old will be recalled in the acoustic arch,
The beauty of nature reign supreme
And the holly trees squat and summer green,
Their thorns a little rounder - berries gone,
November passions fallen – their reds fired to earth.
This formal wheel - its turn in turn will take.

And I cannot imagine the face that I might have
There in the moment to carry the tides of existence,
To turn into the wind of shapes and matters
This final record of the watch.

Tomorrow as you rise above the valley
Move beyond the canopy and linger
Fluid and abiding like a river returning

The berries I saw fall here last October,
A velvet vein of wine in the still of winter
Sweetened and distilled by time and distance
A moment alive in the breath of it all to trace
Elements as periodic as a glimpse of the eternal
In which a man might make his soul a shelter.

If everything is thrown before the heavens,
Exposed to every weather in acceptance,
Home, is a memory sustained
By forces which are more than we can name
Of moments felt and entered in the heart -
A place existing always where you are.

© C Allen 2010