Last Summer in Clare

Slowly getting back to writing new stuff after months of editing – book being printed on Monday – this is a true (ish) account of an afternoon in Galway but names / places changed to protect the innocent  🙂

A handful of gargoyles on a wall
Is all that remains of the abbey
Dedicated to St Phocas of Sinope
Who’s long forgotten
Overlooking the bay at Aughnabrochan

And when it rains the leaking spouts drip
And splashed heads look up
And picture the abbey in its heyday
And wonder about St Phocas
And hope the crumbling gargoyles
Won’t dislodge and pulp their skulls.

The gardens of the abbey
Drew families from Kerry
On horse-drawn charabanc outings
At Eastertide or Lughnasa
Until Epiphany – January 1839
When the big wind himself
Of the ‘Night of the Big Wind’
Blew down the old building
And washed away monks at pray
And winter sleeping gardens

From behind the high dry-stone wall
Keeping Atlantic tides at bay
A handful of youths with gaping mouths
Admired Jodie’s breast-stroke
In half a polka dot bikini

The skimpy top abandoned on the sand

Wanting to give the lads a treat
They dare not tell their mothers
Nor their dads about
I held the polka dot top aloft
And quieted their sniggering
By signalling for silence.

As Jodie stepped from the waves
Her water-weighted bikini bottom
Slipped ankle-bound.

A cathedral hush settled over the cove
As, statuesque, she stretched
To sunbathe naked on the strand.

And from behind the wall
The rasp of unzipped flies
Urgent hands and dripping spouts.


© coolhermit 2023
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