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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 match, the plaster and the immortal. Good Friday 09

Comhrá le mo athair mór síoraigh Tomás Ó Lorcáin, an Aoine a chéasadh Críost - 09

A conversation with my immortal grandfather Thomas Larkin on the day of Christ’s passion - 09

The match, the plaster and the immortal.



The ritual never deviates.
Thomas Larkin sits and contemplates
Before making his point.

Leaning back with an easy sigh
The wide wings of the sagging armchair
Still alive, embracing him.

My grandfather bathed in beatific light
Beneath the living room window
An aura of all that we were, are and will be.

For this is not science,
The meeting of emotions
Being far too exact for that.
Love’s dialectic soars and swoops
Between our dreams and existential fact.

The frame of his wise spectacles
Is held together by airfix glue
And scrupulous first aid plasters.

He lifts the side of his glasses
The better to light his cigarette.
Players Full Strength.

The fiercely bearded mariner
On the front of the white packet,
A symbol always for me
Of the flame of erudition.
The acrid eruption of thought
As the match is struck.
Me gazing at the serene Swan Vesta
Gliding in soft yellows and reds

He swings the match quickly back and forth.
An early Christian communist waving a thurible.
Banishing the evil spirit of mediocrity.

A sweet blue pall of immanence drifts
Like the burned offerings of our senses
Before discourse is commenced.

Marx , Connolly and Socrates he had read
But he knew them better by his innate intellect
Confidently assuming their presence
In the space where the Grandfather Clock does not tick.

He is more rigorous than the stoics
More holy than any poet.

In later years, I would sit
Beside him on a stool.
He is so light now
That his bones are beyond this world.
Happily reduced to a philosopher's skein
Of pure delineation.
Transubstantiation incarnate.
The mantle of the infinite.

There is no death in this sacred academy
Whose simple walls and rough benches
Stretch across all space and time
The eternal elastoplast of the mind.






Pól Ó Lorcáin/Paul Larkin
Baile Átha Cliath
Aoine an Chéasta – Aibreáin 09
Good Friday - April 09










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Title: The match, the plaster and the immortal. Good Friday 09
Date posted: 10 Apr '09 - 12:09
Filed under: General
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