Dublin Is Here – An Epic Poem – By Gavin Bourke

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Pic by Javon Swaby

 

Dublin Is Here

Cold, October Saturdays and endless
Grey, what if it, was all, an illusion,
To begin with, anyway?
Oh Glorious, Dublin’s a way and a DNA!
Dublin, will always be Dublin, home or
Away, literature the blood, of its air,
The Spartan and Trojan, Sporting
Heroes, embodying the streets, we walk,
The cobblestone memories, of Swift,
Joyce, Behan and big Jack, Doyle and
Charlton, Singing Through Stephen’s
Green, With Noel Purcell and The New
Multicultural, the faces of our great
Writers, atomised and embedded into
The cracks, in every wall and in the
Green shoots, emerging, through the
Gaps, in the pavement. The inescapability,
Of Shaw and Roche, their towers going
Higher, with time, coming to terms with
The gravities of their achievements, like
Bennett, on all of the world’s stages, all
Of the world, a stage, like the
Representations and depictions of
Heritage and Histories, life, inclusion
And Joie De Vivre, onSaint Patrick’s Day
Flotillas, showcasing everything, good
And great, about our capital city, so full
Of potential, the underdog pugilist,
That can hold, its own, in any place, or
Time, right now, or back then, as far as
You wish to go, down the bloodlines and
Recorded histories, oral traditions,
Folklores, the mythic, mystical,
Religious, scholastic, the saints and
Scholars, known as that Isle, since at
Least, the 7th century a.d., but we’re
Modest, we keep it under our caps, we
Can take on anyone, no matter, how many,
With heart and mind, with soul and
Kindness, embodying characters,
Sculpted, Plotinus-like, statuesque
Magnificence, in a humble package,
Shrouded in the ancient lands, we walk
And jog on, the riches, sedimented and
Embedded, in every inch, of our soil.
The codes are all there, waiting to be
Unlocked, with the footfalls on the
Pavements and the archaeologist’s
Trowels and brushes and the jugs and
Bowls, discovered, of enormous
Cultural significance.
We should all care, about our lord
Mayor, at least as much as she care’s
About us, undeserving of abuse, with
All, she is willing to do and bring to
Us, our hazel wand, to put the fire and
Conviction, in our hearts, minds and
Hands.
Those who inhabit our streets, on their
Backs and knees, who walk the
Underground tunnels, forced to beg,
ForScraps and a bed, symbols of lost
compasses.Knives, dark alleyways, spray
paint, Barbwire and turnstiles, men in blue,
Cleaning last night’s, mess and
Unnecessariness and the tears of lost
And found loves, on late night Fridays,
In and out of doorways, where sleepers,
Have spent their night, in fear of their
Lives, traffic and trafficked, four floors,
Above busy city streets, greed never being
Pleased and excess never being appreciated,
Rough sleepers, at the mercy of the sadistic,
Who would rain, down upon them, for kicks.
Flags, badges, proclamations, tables, mega
-phones, flip-charts and roars, left and right,
Right and left, right and wrong, rights and
Wrongs, can’t we all just shake hands?
Move on and work together, for everyone’s
Betterment. What’s so wrong with that?
There is no need, to take a left or right
Hook, to the jaw, to prove you’re a hard Shaw,
A Hawkshaw, a hard man or a hawk.
Markets and horses, say a lot about us, trays
Of fresh fruit and vegetables, the smells of
Real life, in the market quarter, very much
Worth preserving, for ourselves and future
Generations, never goes out of fashion,
Freshness, like the emblem of three castles,
Etched, like an Albrecht Durer masterpiece,
Into the capital’s collective consciousness,
Symbolising what was not easily attained,
But was so, nonetheless, with heart, mind
And indomitable spirit.
We are one, east and west, handshakes, will
Benefit us, far more than bullets, guns,
Bombs, disinformation or malice, it is a
Window of chance, that has come, upon us,
We are all, in this.
The capital is its people, we are its streets
And buildings and we all deserve our rights,
Respect and dignity and a helping hand, when
We fall down, upon the floors and grounds.
It is our better world and selves, we should
Seek.
Atavism, still with us, the charred skeletal
Remains, gored by the devil horns of warfare,
Territoriality and needless murder and killing,
Inside and outside, the old walls, rivers and
Tributaries, we attribute and salute.
Our compassion for the helpless and in a bad way,
Needs rekindling, to a might flame, to snatch
Our good human nature from the jaws of rapacious
Greed and avariciousness, for the benefit of all,
Of us, our Dublin for all of us, once again.
Dublin is Carruth’s tenacity, Dowling’s passion,
McGregor’s self belief, Delaney and Coughlin’s
four minute, golden miles, across the city’s
bridges and rivers, its blistering never-ending,
days of sunshine and liffey swimming, where
everyone, becomes grounded and human again.
Dublin is homecomings, Italia 90, Euro 88,
Keane’s and Duff in 2002, McGrath from an open
Bus top, olé, olé, olé, olé, olé, you’ll never
Beat the Irish, The Irish Rovers, Rover Saves
Christmas, Shane McGowan, Ronnie Drew, John
Sheehan, Patricia Scanlan, Damien Dempsey,
Philip Lynott and Sinéad, Nothing Compares
To her, nothing compares to Dublin.
Knophler’s, prehistoric garbage trucks,
With the city to themselves at night, all
Night cafes, from the light to dark, to the
Darkest dark, to the morning light, casinos,
Late night restaurants, night links and taxis,
Pony cabs and hook-ups, leaving the city, the
Stags and hens.
Dublin is that walk, of shame, when you didn’t
Meet the woman or man of your dreams and
Had to go home alone and the greatest night,
Of your life, when you woke up with a beauty,
Knowing you’d punched, way above your weight,
That night and fell in love, of course!
Dublin is City Hall, Civic regalia,
It is east and west, north and southside,
Provinces of the city, which includes,
All of us, tourists, visitors and those
Who enrich the fabric, frescos, tapestries,
Mosaics and histories of the city, by coming
To live here, becoming irish citizens and
Making magnificent and miraculous
Contributions, to our city, stitching us up,
In hospitals, transplanting our lungs and
Hearts and saving our lives.
Dublin is a place of sanctuary, a bowl of
Chowder and a slice of crusty bread, on a
Cold, wet, blustery November afternoon,
in good company and with a soothing,
hot whiskey, when you’re feeling,
a bit under the weather and the greyness
of streets, sky and buildings, is getting
you down, as Autumn becomes winter,
a long way from Christmas and New Year’s.
Dublin s markets, Moore streets, hollering
Dublin accents, old school kindness, wisdom
and looking after everyone, who passed by,
or who stops to say hello, to old Dublin,
to reconnect with the eternal, collective soul,
much older than eight hundred years old.
Dublin is many nationalities, all welcome,
all part of the new Dublin, the city,
where everyone is welcome, to make a contribution
and make it greater than, it’s ever been,
taller than the spire and brighter,
than the bright light at the tip,
that almost touches the sun, stars and moon.
Dublin IsThe city and its walls,
Waters ran upon, Vikings, Sitric Silken Beard,
Silken Thomas, silver tongues, soothing brogues,
the blas and beauty of the Celtic Irish tongue,
of gold, silver and Connemara marble,
it’s tourist shops, Arran seaters,
Taylor Swift wears, Beckett, Guinness’s,
Hop house Thirteen, Kavanagh by the Royal Canal,
strawberry beds, forever, beside the Liffey,
bridges named after famous writers,
statues of Phil Lynott, Like Kelly, Jim Larkin
and The O’Connell Street monument and
The Wellington Monument, that has witnessed,
visits by Pope John Paul, The Second and Francis,
The Great Reformer and humble Saint and scholar,
steeped in wisdom and love for humankind,
promoting peace, tolerance and forgiveness,
thousands turned out, to pay their respects.
Dublin is Croke Park and valiant athletes full
of heart, Gavin, Brogan, McMahon, Connolly,
McMenamin, Cluxton and five in a row, holding
the Sam Maguire cup aloft, before bunting
and a lap of honour and a next day visit,
to Crumlin Children’s Hospital, to share,
the pride and joy, after a night in the boar’s
or stag’s head.
Architectural, Georgian, gothic, Tudor
and Busaurus’s art deco, steeples, reaching
the sky, Christ Church, The Pro Cathedral,
White Friars Street, George’s street arcade,
chips, records, cassettes, jams, marmalades,
bohemian clothing, bongs and being around,
the corner from Powers court and those,
with too much money.
Doric, plinths, columns, cranes,
building across the sky, the smell of
hope, from car windows.
Dublin Area, Rapid Transit,
from Bray to Howth Junction,
‘could take you away’ and back,
Bray to Howth Junction and back,
to see the best and most beautiful,
aspects of the city and county, forgetting,
time, place and weather, summoned,
to a higher plane, moving through tunnels,
around cliff edges, peering over precipices,
seeing out to the horizon, marvelling,
at the beaches, Matt Damon, shorelines and
then, through the city, the Nexus and epicentre,
the power of the centre, Arnheim,
the centre-piece of streets and people,
walking, rushing, cruising in SUVs and
stuck in traffic jams, such a contrast,
to the carefree yachts, sailing in Dun Laoighre
and Heath, the 2020 cars, passing through,
Raheny village, modern Toyota Carinas,
higher professionals, gourmet coffee shops,
election posters, the Hayes statue,
near the crossroads, some close friends;
beside the sea.
On Hollymount Strand, lifeguards, boy racers,
Souped up, two doors, occasional gatherings
to settle scores and drink cans, oblivious
to the retired couples, wearing jumpers,
with the sleeves, draped over their chests,
tied in loose knots, carefree, comfortable
and purposed in countenances.
Little Sisters of the Poor, in Raheny,
no charges for top class care,
I sat at the end, of many beds of sick nuns,
brought consignments of books and conversed
with them over cups, of tea for whole mornings
at times, the privilege of working.

Overall, Dublin, is like a gull, white,
with shades of grey, majestic, mewling,
soaring, but it’s potential and direction,
need to be altered, in order to return it,
to its true authenticity, in light of political,
social, economic and technological change.
the gull is a great Dublin symbol.
A tenacious city, full of potential,
yet in recent years, commercial interest
and hedonism given into, at the expense,
of its potential and capacity,
to be inclusive and healthy.
Dublin of rivers and bays, of change from
Grey’s to colours and neon lights,
shoe people on Parnell Street and
clothing markets on Meath Street,
the streets, built environment, buildings,
walls, trees, cranes, hard hats, boiler suits,
tea breaks, not beyond this point, visual,
virtual and signs etched into the mind,
desirable quartets and quarters,
Irish coffees and cappuccinos, no go areas,
high rise estates and tower blocks,
graffiti, urine and needles in stairwells,
a warning to visitors and residents
and infestations of rats, that all is not so well,
there and then, re-imaginings, transformations,
re-buildings, regenerations, Dolphins Barn
and O’Devaney Gardens, Stoney batter, barbers,
gourmet coffee shops and artisan houses,
Cabra clubs, soccer, taekwondo, beautiful mothers,
five a side, astro turf pitches, astronomy,
astrology, looking to the clear skyline,
on Autumn night’s, as the transition,
to the temporary winter months,
of lower temperatures,
where you can taste the cold,
watch your breath on glass, like Midge Ure,
condensation, precipitation and beautiful,
weather forecasters of news and weather,
long sexed up, since the days of Don Coburn
and Today Tonight and super sers, bullseye,
broken cars in driveways, with green major,
cigarettes on brown leather dashboards
and side entrances needing repair
and garage doors needing painting,
or replacement, back in the days,
before the dominance of screens
and varieties of gins in your local shops,
that might not, do you much good.
Dublin is old city walls,
Pearls in shells, old muskets and pistols,
Buried under ruins, sunrise, in the sunset
House, would lend you a pint of milk,
Or a bag of sugar, without even having,
To ask.
Northside taxi drivers, that would drive
You and two weeks food, home, for
Practically nothing.
As valuable as Cluxton’s point in 2012.
All exists in cycles, beds of oil,
Tar, nails. Grass or weeds, but always
Green shoots growing within
Anthropologies, sociologies,
Banks, societies, technologies, monies,
Always light on the way, after the ‘
Darkest nights and days.
The alignment of sky, mind, heart,
Ground, soil and earth as the
Bone setting into the personal
Divining rod, of authenticity,
No arguments with the word
Of the heart, always there, never went,
Anywhere.
Larkin and O’Connels’s outstretched arms,
Dignam, O’Carroll, O’Connor and
The Great Western Squares.
Dublin is the dew on Grafton
Street, on a sun drenched, October
Morning, on a day full of endless,
Promise and sunshine,
‘This is’ Dublin and the roots and resilience,
Of ourselves,
Simple as.


 

About the Author

Gavin Bourke grew up, in the suburb of Tallaght, in West Dublin. Married to Annemarie, living in County Meath, he holds a B.A. in Humanities, from Dublin City University, an M.A. Degree, in Modern Drama Studies and a Higher Diploma in Information Studies, from University College Dublin. His work broadly covers, nature, time, memory, addiction, mental health, human relationships, the inner and outer life, creating meaning and purpose, politics, contemporary and historical social issues, injustice, the human situation, power and its abuse, absurdism, existentialisms, human psychology and behaviour, truth and deception, the sociological imagination, illness, socio-economics, disability, inclusivity, human life, selfishness and its consequences, as well as urban and rural life, personal autonomy, ethics, grand schemes and the technological life, in English and to a lesser extent, the Irish Language.

Gavin is also a multi-instrumentalist and has been a songwriter, composer and guitar teacher, for the past, thirty-five years. He plays Classical/Spanish guitar, acoustic-electric guitar, bass guitar, jazz guitar, electric lead guitar, banjo and mandolin. He has written songs, music and lyrics, recorded albums, collaborated with many musicians and songwriters and has performed, in venues, all over Dublin.