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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

The Wall That Isn't

Mo chairde go léir, mo leithscéal as gan a bheith ag cur isteach rud ar bith ar Cic Saor le gairid.

I have not posted anything on Cic Saor for a while because I have been working on a translation of an Ibsen play (Et Dukkehjem - A Doll's House) and also on a major and very critical review of Henry McDonald's latest book - Gunsmoke and Mirrors. I will be posting the book review on this site very shortly and I would be grateful if you would cross pollinate the article as widely as possible once it goes online.

In the meantime, here is a kind of hybrid poem about the mind of a child - "The Wall That Isn't".

The Wall That Isn’t

On his return from the naíonra, my son Eoghan delights in lying on top of the white wall that divides our house from our good neighbour’s. The wall is around the height of an average man. High for a child of five. High five.

His sister Sorcha looks on, grinning like a cat, from the back of the bike. It's like she knows, and I don’t, why his benediction for the day must be performed on top of those black lintel stones. There he is spreadeagled atop the wall declaiming his unintelligible mantra, his cycle helmet still in place thank God for if he should fall?

And I will never ever know what is going on in his mind. It is a thing beyond me and yet one day last summer we were out in the back garden.

You know the summer has arrived when the bumblebee buzzes by. Bouncing and buffeting from stamen to stamen, drunk on honey juice. Moonshine of the eternal sun. Eoghan and Sorcha watch transfixed as it alights on the blooms of the rosemary bush. They are deafened by the buzz of the summer and I divine what they feel. The aural bombardment. The massive close ups of savagely striped fur. This is not pretend yellow and black. It is graphic, real.

Amharc, amharc bumban - Look, look a bumblebee, Eoghan cries, his stare as fierce and pristine as a bee sting. Eoghan mo mhac faoi dhraíocht - Eoghan transfixed. At the impossible aeronautics. The defiance of science. Nature's zig zag triumph.
Tá sé cosúil liomsa - It's like me! Eoghan says. He looks at Sorcha. She looks at him and the bee. Nobody looks at me.

Standing at the wall, my hand on his back. It hits me. The wall, the bee, the puckish grinning baby, the incantation of his internal monologue thrumming inside of me.

I haven’t a clue what he's thinking.
But I know what he means.

Baile Átha Cliath
Mí an Mhárta 09


Pol, with the emerging morning in melodious bloom these lines are soothing.

Any chance children could rule the world????
by: Finn Anson (contact) - 29 Mar '09 - 07:22
Well Finn!
Yes our children would almost certainly make a better job of it anyway. The more positive vibes we get at the moment the better. I enjoyed your little fishing trip story by the way. Those skewers are amazing birds - primeval - and would always accompany us whenever we sailed in northern waters.
Give my love to everybody. (Beautiful day in Dublin - the first day of summer time)
by: Pol (contact) - 29 Mar '09 - 10:52


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Title: The Wall That Isn't
Date posted: 28 Mar '09 - 09:07
Filed under: General
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