15th April

Day 15 of NaPoWriMo

For a dear friend who died last year

Jim O The Mill

You are with me, this morning

 in my mediation,

You, dressed in purple, pink and red, 

fire flames dance daintily or your face.
Diamond stars sparkle below your ears.

 Your smile, warm, welcome, a comfort 
good to see you, dear friend . 
“tell me more,” you whisper 
“about the Ireland trip, 

More about trad evenings.” 
You have a soft spot for all things Celtic. 
Fine, let me tell you about Jim o the Mill,
An old farmhouse cottage, thatched, hidden,
along a boreen, way up the mountains
Outside the house- balloons, lanterns, lights,
Colourful, like Christmas.

Cars line the lanes, fill the fields. 
Musicians gather, carry instruments, eager to play
you’d  like that, with your love of music,
Shall I go on? 

Crowds greet, hug,  like it’s a family affair.
 But many are travellers who’ve come from afar
Africa, America, Germany, even Bulgaria.  
World renowned is farmer Jim.
 A  micro bar, 
 size of a tiny parlour, 
open only Thursdays

Serves Guinness,  Cola,  Irish whiskey.
We’re fond of a silky smooth Guinness.  
The evening begins,
 music, storytelling, poetry,
 fill three small rooms. 
Bodies squeeze together, 
sit on benches,  dirt floor,  perch on stairs. 

We are in the room where Kathleen is,
 my cousin, with her fiddle. 
A boy, about ten, with an accordian, 
and  a head of curly, red hair,
An American with his guitar. 
 One begins to play a tune,
 others join in, 
even if they’ve never heard it.
 This is an Irish  ramble,
 all are welcome.

Anyone can play their instrument,
 or sing or recite poetry or tell a story.
 I look around. 
You’d love it, the atmosphere. 
 A fire in the open hearth 
gives off a soft glow,
lifts the spirit, 
far away places imagined
 in burning sods. 

On shelves, antique looking tea pots,
 family photos, crock jugs, books.
On walls, fiddles, art work done long ago
 by children now with grandchildren of their own,
 and is that a pitch fork, and beside it a hoe?  yes. 
We’re encouraged to join in with songs we know.
 I know a few –  folk, rebel.

My cousin sings for me – Tipperary Far Away
 I swallow back a river.
 An old Irish balled, haunting,  
hits a hollow deep inside-  I’m off again.
 I imagine you with us dear friend, 
shutting your eyes as you do
 when you listen with intent.

 We leave at 1.30 in the morning, 
no sign of the night coming to an end. 
Apparently, you’ll like this,
 if you’re there in the morning, 
when the sun comes up,
 they’ll cook you sausages and bacon.
Thanks for listening, 
until we meet again, 
so long,  
dear friend.