Not since 1982 did we experience this. Then, we were a young family with visitors and no electricity. We chatted wrapped in rugs before the fire in candlelight. In the night our two year old woke and would not sleep. When I went to see her, the reflection
of a pillar of flame jumped out at me in a mirror on the stairs. Our piano was on fire. We were very lucky. The fire was dealt with quickly and apart from blackened walls the piano was the only thing damaged.
My Dad was a fine carpenter. He scoured
for a piano lid that had the same curvature as our old one, rebuilt the front upright face and restored it beautifully. Mind you, it acquired a slightly mongrel look with the different woods but its fine sound and tone were unharmed. Years later, we passed
it on to a local school and, as far as I know, it is still in use.
So we are confined now for a few days inside, four adults and two children. Thankfully no power outage and a plentiful supply of food. The events of thirty six years ago were reawakened
and I was reminded of my Dad’s great gift and also my own family home, built by him in 1950. I had written a poem about it earlier this year. I think it apt to show it now.
In addition, I scribbled some lines reflecting a writers progress in the
Memories from Childhood
In the garage of our then new house,
my dad made his workshop.
From an old solid door he created
a workbench with a large metal
For years, this was my playground.
I steered liners with that tool,
hauled timber along the Zambezi,
drove trucks on highway 66.
The vice was a multifaceted toy.
It stood for whatever
at the time
and was mine only, no one
in the house could come near.
Fifty years later, as we cleared it,
the bench and that great vice were
the last things to hit the skip,
a lifetime of work, of play
When Winter Really Came
A Seomra*, wooden
inside and out,
with a polystyrene
sits at the bottom
of the garden,
by three days
he stares out
at falling flakes,
tidies and enters
receipts accumulated over
an extended period,
repeats these rounds,
leaves for coffee,
through ten paces
As a poet
in the making,
he follows this
three times daily.
Poetry in very
*Seomra is the Irish for room.
2nd March 2018