FARAWAY SHORES
 
New on our list: Cuba's premier holiday resort.
This fascinating destination is rapidly growing in popularity.
Powdery white pristine beaches, clear blue water, orange sunsets.
Swim with dolphins, please heed the red flag system on the beach.
The perfect spot to escape and unwind, complete seclusion guaranteed.
 
This trip of a lifetime is tailored to your personal circumstances.
A host of daytime activities and evening entertainment.
See the house of Mafia boss Al Capone. Visit a crocodile farm.
Let your hair down to Guantanamo's legendary night life.
Our resident orchestra will put you in the mood.
 
Attractive low level bungalow type accommodation
-Subject to availability. Room service around the clock.
If you receive exceptional services you may leave a gratuity.
Pay by Credit Card, American Express. There may be some
Administrative charges. Departure taxes are not included.
 

 

 

 

 

NIGHT FLIGHT
 
You'l help me with the packing you say
stepping straight out from under the stairs.
My suitcase yawns on the Futon, sceptical
about the whole affair. There are six items
without which we won't get far. In the dream
I keep trying to remember what they are.
 
I drape four pairs of socks over the radiator,
get my swimming togs then go in the shower.
I'm better off without my glasses
so I hide them hidden in a glass jar.
I fear my blood may be too thick
for the plane, or maybe it is too thin.
 
The alarm clock, in a clear digital voice
repeatedly announces the time of the flight.
The phone keeps taking itself off the hook.
I get the steering wheel out of the suitcase,
we'l need it in the car. You sit on the floor
by the window, trying to get the Futon in gear.
 

 

 

 

 

SPELL
 
Almost 
before dawn
can draw breath 
daylight urges these   
eerie lingering shadows
fly back into that lost light     
go before the nearly morning            
hides your last and longest flight.    
 
In Dante's dark wood you wait 
Jacob-like you wrestle in the night                   
knowing how vague residues remain 
lie ominous within the gathered flames   
making through the open eyes of stones      
no comforting or blind enlightened sounds
outliving the filtered fragments of your doubt.   
 
Prepare yourself to rise and face
quickened moments after sleep
resist a slim oblivious escape
slowly let the embers light
then float up like a kite
until you fully wake
 
Vexation stirs the early hours 
waits without respite until 
x-rayed by the shadows
your dark becomes a
zoom of light
 

 

 

 


PASSING OUT
 
As I relate
how the sudden loss of balance
unbalanced me, how the nausea spread
until my face could feel itself turning
from colourless to turquoise white
 
how I hovered this side of passing out
having no say in anything
until the doctor came
and how lying there in the ambulance
it seemed to head in the wrong direction
 
I remember that after I'd let go of worrying
it occurred to me: if this is how we take our leave
it is less distressing than some things
I can think of, say unrequited love
or missing a train.
 

 

 

 

 

SMOKING
 
I've never smoked, except that one time
When I found a fag in a Gold Flake box
My father thought was finished. I left it until
Sunday night when the rest of them were gone
To the dance. I listened to the top twenty first
Then snuck it inside my shirt and headed off
Down the boreen to the bottom of the hill.
 
There beside the well where the horses drank
I lit up and gave a pull. I watched it redden
Then blew the smoke out of my mouth.
Number one was Stranger on the Shore

By Mr Acker Bilk. The excitement was
Knowing I wouldn't be found out. Next thing
A yellow hammer flew out of a furze bush.  
 
I'm glad now that I never took it up
but I'd like to see another yellow hammer
and I wouldn't mind listening to Mr Acker Bilk.


    Michael Mc Carthy 2006