All around, the coral mountains, crumbling stone walls, lakes – a shade that borrows from sea, that could belong to somebody’s eyes . . . These were my impressions of County Galway, as we journeyed towards Clifden, a town known for its extraordinary position, nestled between the foothills of the Twelve Bens and the magnificent Atlantic Ocean. The day was sleepy with heat, an atmosphere reflected in this island, furnished with sloping trees.
When the sand draws you down to its grainy heart, you have to keep control of your feet, lift them, before they sink completely. This, I found out while walking on the beach at Ardmore with my husband and baby daughter. I was posing for a lighthearted picture and somehow my daughter’s buggy stayed firm, while the sand crept up over my ballet pumps.
I was trying to think of subject matter for this blog post and decided I would write about my beautiful daughter. She has become so interactive and I’m constantly surprised by things she says and does.
At just 15 months old, she has picked up a couple of phrases: ‘What are you doing?’ and ‘Why is that?’ She also uses a range of single words such as ‘Hi’, ‘Bye’, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. ‘Duck’ and ‘Bath’ have also recently joined her repertoire. She loves shouting ‘Bye, Dad!’ to my husband, any time he walks out of a door ahead of us and likes to greet and say her farewells to shoppers and shopkeepers alike.
The smoke is oppressive, dangerous. Cassandra watches it curl around the armchair and already she can imagine its source – a long cigarette, dangling from the pursed lips of a grey-faced man. Every wrinkle is part of a complex pattern. She has traced paths through that face, has seen it close to her own, close enough to the feel the cool flame of his breath.
I’ve been working on some poetry, lately. I know this isn’t a startling revelation, but I’m quite pleased with how these particular poems are shaping up. One was inspired by the memory of my first scan in pregnancy. I was struck by the sonographer’s words ‘everything you see on the screen is bone . . .’ and this led me to my opening line: ‘When they tell you, your baby is bone.’
I take down the tree,
unwreathe its arms
of tinsel and bauble.
Now it is pure
and green and dark,
a figure without cover.
I apologise for the recent lack of Blog Posts. If you follow me on Twitter (@KarenSDavies), you will know that I have …
A thrilling change is coming over my garden. It’s called Autumn. The first orange leaf has fluttered from tree – emphasised by the brooding staying power of a neighbouring cedar. Green is still the dominant colour, but individual leaf-blazes shout from the middle of branches.
A flurry of butterflies awaits us, as we prepare to make the most of a rare blue sky. The weather has been stubbornly grey recently, so here is a chance to show my little girl that life can have a shine all of its own.
A shot of sea
spills its gut,
Finding a blackbird chick in my garden seemed symbolic. It was the week before my daughter’s christening; she was napping and I had seized the time to wander on the grass. Wildlife often nestles at the edges of this vast stretch of green. I’ve seen frogs, rabbits and hedgehogs in the past. The chick was brown and fluffy and looked bigger than his parents. He had shiny black eyes and didn’t move as I squatted down beside him for a closer look. There is something so vulnerable and trusting about the young.
‘The Quiet Man’ is one of those films that made a significant impression on me as a child. I first watched it at my Aunty and Uncle’s house, marvelling at the fact that here was John Wayne, in a role that didn’t require a cowboy hat or studded boots. He seemed more vulnerable somehow, still with that dry sense of humour but showing a little more emotion than usual. As for Maureen O’Hara, she was so beautiful and headstrong. I loved the combatitive quality of the relationship between the two, played out against green fields and the chatter of local gossip.
As a starfish, I am pointy, shiny and spirited, with a zest for water. The tank allows me to see out into the world without taking part. I can float and watch and wait. The only problem occurs when a handler introduces me to a child.
As a child, I always associated aquariums with magic. There is certainly a mysterious quality to creatures who live underwater and it can be fascinating to see them up close and learn about their habits. Galway Atlantaquaria gave us our first opportunity to introduce our baby daughter to some of these creatures.
Our first family holiday – myself, hubs, our baby, and The Cliffs of Moher. Although the weather was rather grey and an edgy wind accompanied us, it seemed fitting as we breathed in the landscape, the sheer scale of the cliffs and their brooding, domineering presence. Tourists swarmed in all directions. Any time we paused to take a photo, a person appeared beside us.
I find the river. I feel the walk beneath my soles. The sky holds a spreading heat and I follow the light into the water, where it dapples, moves through green weed and over stones. A fish startles to life and I see him flick through the depths.
Waterford Writers’ Weekend is fast approaching and I will be leading a workshop called ‘Get Flashy with Fiction’ on Saturday, May 9th. The workshop will run from 10.30 am until 12.30 pm at Central Library, Waterford.
I wanted to go to the sea, realised I hadn’t been in almost a year. Why? I love the sea. I grew …
The pale yellow, shell-like construction of a daffodil . . . My niece presents me with the flower, along with a handful of catkins. The catkins draw my senses with their animal texture and my heart twists. This pure gesture stands out as my world continues to revolve with change. I take a sheet of blank paper, arrange the flowers, like a sketch. Every element has a shadow. I note the light and the darkness, capture them with my camera.
The Wind that Shook the Daffodils: A Memory Story by K. S. Moore The St David’s Day concert was one of the …