Walk (Dublin 2016)…poem



Walk (Dublin 2016)

In Iveagh gardens an exhibition promises:
Contemporary sculpture based on
Non-monumental ideas of the uncanny.
This phrase sticks like chewing gum
To the bedpost of my mind
As I walk through Stephen’s Green,
Replacing: One then offers the cat up to the aperture
Which, according to my brother,
Is the ultimate step in programming
One’s automatic cat door to accept
One’s micro-chipped cat.
Outside the Shelbourne Hotel
Tourists wearing horned helmets
Board a Viking ship on wheels.
I am in search of a pub sandwich
Two slices of white bread, ham, cheese ,
Toasted in a cellophane pack
Small jar of mustard on the side
Served with Guinness
In a quiet pub where I can sit
And think non monumental thoughts
And where the barman asks me
As we watch Lionel Messi
float past three transfixed defenders
Is he the best ever?
And I am surprised not at the question
But at the deference.

The challenge from Anmol over at dverse, is to write a poem on the subject of walking and observing. This poem was written after a trip back to my home town of Dublin. Walking around one’s home town is not so much about looking for the new as it is about re-discovering the past; it’s more about the memories that the place holds rather than the physical aspect of the place. It’s also about trying to recover a feeling or an experience from the past.

The photo is of Dublin from Sandymount Strand, and of course, Joyce’s “snot-green, scrotum-tightening sea”.

(The poem appeared previously in the Galway Review)




27 thoughts on “Walk (Dublin 2016)…poem

  1. kim881

    Its over thirty years since I was last in Dublin, a city where one can always find something to write about. The lines that stand out for me are:
    ‘Contemporary sculpture based on
    Non-monumental ideas of the uncanny.
    This phrase sticks like chewing gum
    To the bedpost of my mind’.


  2. anmol(alias HA)

    Such a brisk walk, with some interesting commentary — I like how you played with that “non-monumental” in a roundabout manner. And I agree with you about visiting one’s hometown — it certainly has been so for me too.
    This kind of reminded me of Larkin’s I Remember, I Remember. 🙂


  3. Glenn Buttkus

    Larkin, James Joyce, with a touch of Raymond Carver; strong heady imagery. The piece came alive for me after entering the pub. Thanks for another word-tour, since I will never, now, travel to Dublin.


  4. gillena cox

    Thanks for the walk through, i’m a little bit closer to Dublin City all the way across from the Caribbean☺


    Liked by 1 person

  5. sarahsouthwest

    Oh, Dublin. Could only be. The bit that really took me there was the sandwich. I remember when that was all you could get in a pub, none of these Thai crabcakes and fancy chowders. I hope you had a packet of Taytos as well.

    Any journey across Dublin drags Joyce with it – even for me, who never got beyond page 20.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Steve Simpson

    Oh Jim, so much to ponder, and so much that I want for myself. Certainly, non-monumental, and I would gladly accept a surgical microchip to automatically start the car after I manage to occupy the driver’s seat in my helmet with a tankard my hand. A vivid succession of wonderful images, well done.



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