Looking for U2…

In the summer of 2002 Emma and I took an isolated house in a small inlet along Bertraghboy Bay between Cashel and Roundstone in Connemara. There was electricity and running water, albeit of a peaty brown, but no mobile phone coverage. Evenings involved cards, glasses of Paddy whisky and long watches through the window as the cormorants dried their wings and seals’ heads broke water. Then, one evening in Boulger’s Bar a rumour spread that U2 were visiting their Cashel bolt-hole just along the shoreline from our house…

BERTRAGHBOY BAY [this one]

ROS RUA: Looking for U2

And word came down from Boulger’s Bar:
Bono, The Edge, those shades, that stetson hat,
buying two bags of groceries from the shop
next door. An Audi TT kicking gravel into
Cashel Bay and heading down the mile
of rocky track towards Ros Rua.
For me behind binoculars, stretched along
the dry-stone wall, the music clinched it.

Wired to the sky like summer smoke,
a melody ascended, needle thin, undefined,
above the low-pitched mossy roof into
the afternoon. (I see them wedged in primitive
splendour: Bono, the Edge on a broken sofa;
Mullen, Clayton, heads together, tracks
mixed onto laptop, a picture window
open to the pale sun, the breathing sea).

Stalked by gulls, mobbed by gorse, I crawled
like a lone commando down where the fields
broke cover over rocks, down where the swallows
stitched the sky to water. Voices crooned
in the telephone wires, a heartbeat away
from the green front door. (Bono, The Edge,
a bottle of Mouton Cadet blanc between them;
Mullen trailing a pensive finger round the rim
of a crystal glass, Clayton watching
the bobbing seals in Bertraghboy Bay).

And then the door swung wide
and the music bloomed like a tin flower:
John McCormack singing The Rose of Tralee.
And a four-square farmer’s wife came stepping
high over the tussocks, scarved and booted,
ringing a bucket like a broken bell.

And she’s singing too, singing in a wild
soprano, keen as the edge of a spinning
slate, plaiting her voice around McCormack’s
skinny tenor, scattering the gulls and lifting
a fishing heron out of the shallows
and into the all-accommodating sky.

From ANCIENT LIGHTS.

About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing (www.phoeniciapublishing.com) and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press (www.oldstilepress.com). I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material (https://www.facebook.com/moorbyjones?ref=aymt_homepage_panel + http://www.moorbyjones.net/). I play the same instruments in the Celtic/English/Americana/acoustic ambient trio Escher's Dream. (https://www.facebook.com/Eschers-Dream-102838891097545/?modal=admin_todo_tour) I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - http://patteran.typepad.com - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
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2 Responses to Looking for U2…

  1. David Gouldstone says:

    I really can’t take anyone over the age of about 16 seriously if they chose to call themselves ‘The Edge’. The only thing worse is naming yourself after a dog biscuit.

    Nice poem, though!

    http://www.icknieldindagations.com

  2. Pingback: Poetry Blog Digest 2019: Week 31 – Via Negativa

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