Cave Paintings was a collaborative project made by a group of visual artists and writers, curated by the lads behind Cave Writings last year. I was paired with the NCAD graduate and photographer Danyal Fox, and wrote and performed this poem in four parts after his series of photos of Phoenix Park in Dublin.
How many times have I walked down that hill
Having nowhere else to go
Under the shadow of Kilmainham Gaol,
And past the public library.
Might stop in but never stay long
Always coming alone
Might go the long way to read the byelaws
Almost hidden by the hedge in spring
But bare to see in winter.
If you want to speak you have to go to Nine Acres
And not within 75 metres of any road way
But I doubt anyone could hear my voice in the wind today
And I don’t want to speak anyway.
Golden hour is living up to its name
But I’m only here because I reset
All the sattelite channels to German and
I don’t know what else to do.
Down in the little hollow
Just inside the Islandbridge Gate
Where it gets all foresty but the traffic gives it away
There’s a tent,
Hidden until you find it.
Someone lives here,
But not in the Presidental sense.
The tent looks well kept too,
Like if they had a house and garden there’d be
Butterfly plants and bird feeders
And a big doormat saying “WELCOME”,
Because you’d never forget that feeling.
There’s a boy on a horse
In front of the monument
Breaking three bye laws
The sound of him breaks in and
I don’t know how I could ever love
Anywhere more than here.
Maybe I just got lucky,
Like finding your soulmate living two doors down;
Those stories you hear of meeting at mass
And holding hands on the 70th wedding anniversary
She only let him take her out that week
Because she needed the ingredients for the
He was the grocer and this was
You don’t need to look for it
If it’s already there.
Must be the only place I don’t get lost,
Always know directions to the Pope’s Cross or
The Dog Pond
Not interrupted by one way
Traffic systems or roundabouts,
The deer know the way and we should too.
I use them to keep my head up
Crossing fields turning dark
Trying not to think of that
Nurse in 1982
The blood dripping out the back of the car and
Malcolm MacArthur peeling an orange between
The Wellington Monument and
The Main Road.
But that was in sunlight
And if you let them take the park away from you
The joy of the dark away from you