3 years ago Geoff Stevens, yes! he of the da-da-da- Guy Gibson poem which appeared recently on P-i-R's pages (well worth a trawl through December 2007 on the sidebar to find it...look for keyword 'Handshake') took himself, his notepad and his camera on a tour of the Emerald Isle and kept a diary of sorts. He subsequently published a record of his misadventures under the intriguing title: 'A Keelhauling through Ireland - barnacles and all'.
From Geoff's 36-page booklet, with his kind permission, a postcard:
Imagine this as a place
where no one spoke until
the invention of the radio
and then their voices crackled
with an atmosphere of rainstorm
and the crashing of the wild wild sea
as they asked for bread and potatoes
or a cylinder of liquid gas
at the store that stood there isolated
on a black and white TV screen of time
before a stone-littered landscape
that fronted a bleak background of hills
and a canvas of oil-smeared skies
and was a screaming motorcycle ride
from civilisation, a windswept sodden walk away
from the white-walled cottages
with their peat-smoke twisting chimneys
and turf-top roofs of mildewed thatch.
Introduce a car or two and the odd hiker
and allow a few women into the pub
and satellite dishes would sprout from the eaves
but colour would still only exist indoors
travel through on wheels or on yellow backs
of oilskinned walkers roughing it
through a landscape which is forever two-tone,
the wind grey and sounding black
as it whistles through the rain
or settles white and silent on the horizon's distant waves.
Only 3 copies of 'Keelhauling...' now left on the shelf! Contact Poetry Monthly Press at email@example.com to get yours!