Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day - Limerick #1

St. Patrick's Day - Limerick #1

In honour of Saint Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland, whose Feast Day is to-day, I have penned 5 or 6 Limericks with an Irish theme.

So here's the first! Please be kind - I'm well aware I'm no Seamus Heaney or Yeats. Hell, I'm not even a Pam Ayres. Or worse still, an Andrew Motion!

A pungent old man from Clontarf
Refused to take a hot bath
"'Tis cold sure, but free
To bathe in the sea!"
Said that briney old man with a laugh.

Clontarf (Irish: Cluain Tarbh) is a coastal suburb on the northside of Dublin, where I went to Art College (NCAD) in the early 90s. It is most famous for giving the name to the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, in which Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, defeated the invading Norsemen, the Viking invaders. This battle, which extended to districts over several miles, is seen as marking an end to the Irish-Viking Wars.

My Mum told me that when she visited Ireland in the 50s she was shown a pair of human skulls, one adult and one much smaller. She was told the larger of the two was the skull of none other than King Brian Boru. When she pointed to the small one and inquired who that was she was told that that was the skull of Kind Brian Boru as a boy!

My auld fella here (showing his auld fella) is bathing in the sea nearby, probably Dollymount Strand. To his right is Howth Head where Molly and Leopold made out, to his left the Poolbeg Chimneys (which I always knew as the 'winky men' because of the red flashing light at the top of each stack, the first thing I'd see when returning on the ferry). Ah happy days!

Nude swimming would probably be frowned upon at 'Dollier' but is quite accepted at other places on Dublin Bay, most notably the Forty Foot and the Vico in Dalkey, where I myself would brave the rocks and the waves wearing nothing but a nervous smile!.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

1 comment:

Duncan said...

Strewth that looks cold - there's shrinkage going on there (a la George from Seinfeld)
Lookin' forward to the other limericks.