1. I wrote this and it’s now on the internet

     
  2. Tracy’s Bar. Derry, Northern Ireland, August 2013. 

     

  3. Casualty

    I   

    He would drink by himself   

    And raise a weathered thumb   

    Towards the high shelf,   

    Calling another rum   

    And blackcurrant, without   

    Having to raise his voice,   

    Or order a quick stout   

    By a lifting of the eyes   

    And a discreet dumb-show   

    Of pulling off the top;   

    At closing time would go   

    In waders and peaked cap   

    Into the showery dark,   

    A dole-kept breadwinner   

    But a natural for work.   

    I loved his whole manner,   

    Sure-footed but too sly,   

    His deadpan sidling tact,   

    His fisherman’s quick eye   

    And turned observant back.   

    Incomprehensible   

    To him, my other life.   

    Sometimes, on the high stool,   

    Too busy with his knife   

    At a tobacco plug   

    And not meeting my eye,   

    In the pause after a slug   

    He mentioned poetry.   

    We would be on our own   

    And, always politic   

    And shy of condescension,   

    I would manage by some trick   

    To switch the talk to eels   

    Or lore of the horse and cart   

    Or the Provisionals.   

    But my tentative art   

    His turned back watches too:   

    He was blown to bits   

    Out drinking in a curfew   

    Others obeyed, three nights   

    After they shot dead   

    The thirteen men in Derry.   

    PARAS THIRTEEN, the walls said,   

    BOGSIDE NIL. That Wednesday   

    Everyone held   

    His breath and trembled.   

    II   

    It was a day of cold   

    Raw silence, wind-blown   

    surplice and soutane:   

    Rained-on, flower-laden   

    Coffin after coffin   

    Seemed to float from the door   

    Of the packed cathedral   

    Like blossoms on slow water.   

    The common funeral   

    Unrolled its swaddling band,   

    Lapping, tightening   

    Till we were braced and bound   

    Like brothers in a ring.   

    But he would not be held   

    At home by his own crowd   

    Whatever threats were phoned,   

    Whatever black flags waved.   

    I see him as he turned   

    In that bombed offending place,   

    Remorse fused with terror   

    In his still knowable face,   

    His cornered outfaced stare   

    Blinding in the flash.   

    He had gone miles away   

    For he drank like a fish   

    Nightly, naturally   

    Swimming towards the lure   

    Of warm lit-up places,   

    The blurred mesh and murmur   

    Drifting among glasses   

    In the gregarious smoke.   

    How culpable was he   

    That last night when he broke   

    Our tribe’s complicity?   

    ‘Now, you’re supposed to be   

    An educated man,’   

    I hear him say. ‘Puzzle me   

    The right answer to that one.’

     III   

    I missed his funeral,   

    Those quiet walkers   

    And sideways talkers   

    Shoaling out of his lane   

    To the respectable   

    Purring of the hearse…   

    They move in equal pace   

    With the habitual   

    Slow consolation   

    Of a dawdling engine,   

    The line lifted, hand   

    Over fist, cold sunshine   

    On the water, the land   

    Banked under fog: that morning   

    I was taken in his boat,   

    The Screw purling, turning   

    Indolent fathoms white,   

    I tasted freedom with him.   

    To get out early, haul   

    Steadily off the bottom,   

    Dispraise the catch, and smile   

    As you find a rhythm   

    Working you, slow mile by mile,   

    Into your proper haunt   

    Somewhere, well out, beyond…   

    Dawn-sniffing revenant,   

    Plodder through midnight rain,   

    Question me again.

    - Seamus Heaney

     
  4. Painting signs to promote the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Mason’s, Derry. August 2013

     
  5. Kinnagoe Bay, Co. Donegal, Ireland. Unless the person who told me this was spinning a yarn (which is a definite possibility), you can see Scotland in the distance from this part of the coast. August 2013. 

    (Source: celiaburke)

     
  6. Paint bombs on and around Walker’s Pillar (near the Apprentice Boys’ Hall). Derry, July and August 2013.

     
  7. Free Derry Wall promoting the Fleadh, which starts this weekend. The fact that the Fleadh website is a .co.uk has caused a bit of controversy, evidenced by the fact that I haven’t seen the wall without graffiti (or covered up graffiti) yet. Derry, August 2013. 

    (Source: celiaburke)

     
  8. The Guildhall and Peace Bridge. Derry, Northern Ireland. July 2013.

    (Source: celiaburke)

     
  9. Long Tower Church (St. Columba’s). Derry, Northern Ireland. July 2013.

     
  10. Street performers in Guildhall Square for the “Flavours of the Foyle” community event. Derry, July 2013.

    (Source: celiaburke)