simply life and death

 I am back from Malaga, Nerja, Granada, Sierra Nevada and Alicante. I  made a discovery while driving across the country. In My Fair Lady, the song ‘the rain in spain stays mainly on the ‘plane’ does not refer to an aircraft. It seems Spain is formed of mountains, sea and  plains and the rain stays in the plain. This makes a lot more sense. Even as a child, I could never understand how it stayed on the plane.

Not that I had any rain last week, in the mountains or in the plains. But on the way there, there was tummy turning turbulence on my plane. A child cried out ‘Mummy, make it stop. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.’ Imagine having the desire, fear, freedom and faith to call that out. Anyway, mummy did what was necessary and we all lived.

Conversely, a day after I was home, I discovered that a colleague poet of mine from Galway whom I liked and very much respected died of a sudden heart attack while swimming in the sea in Spain. I was shocked. The day before I had been swimming in the sea near Alicante, and was overwhelmed with the glory and sensuousness of the salt, water, waves. I wrote a draft ditty later that evening. It has no title.

 Waves of water, surf, sand

submerge emerge converge


Salt pricks my pores

stains my lips

sea rushes my depths

straddles my hair

lays me out

I am grains of sand


I danced to the beat of my heart.


It is not worked on. They are words only. I wish they were better.  But they belong to Kevin O’Shea. May he rest in peace.




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