The poets lair

Grass grows in tuffs of rough sward
along the base line of lime washed
Daffodils erupt in spring,
mud splattered
by eager wagging pups.
     In autumn lady’s mantle
provides a canvas
for acid washed spurge
layered in discs of lime green
below mean wooden windows.
      Montbrittia sets the ground
to flame that lasts well into

Nothing else cultivated
will grow in the salt that blinds
the facade of the cottage
     on the cliff.
Dandelion and Maron grass,
Artemisia and Spinach grow wild
around the shelter of the half door
     at the rear.

He grows potatoes in rows
and swedes raised hard from seed.
in the lee of the gable.
    Cabbage is a stable with his bacon.
Tomatoes disappoint in cooler
years but still he perseveres
for the bounty of success
     when it comes.

Inside in dappled light
a desk and chair, a bunk
     on bare stone.
A hook above an open range
hangs above the flames.
His needs are basic,
brassicas and spuds with a shoulder
     of bacon on a Sunday.

   -Dave Kavanagh

In the 1950s before my birth a poet lived in a cottage on the cliffs above the bay in Loughshinny. He died in a fall on a Saturday night, a little the worse for porter and with a cut of bacon in his coat pocket. The cottage was a ruin for as long as I remembered so the poem is my imaginatiom of what it may have been like.

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