Photograph with Hooker*
This place called Galway
has other names, sea names, secret names.
It beckoned to us many years ago,
then turned us into familiar figures,
our laughs like those of cailleacha gránna,
a glass of red in our hands
that came no doubt in olden days
off some boat at the Spanish Arch.
This city has been our home,
pulled by the force of its current,
we have danced together on waves,
let dogs lead us into hidden paths.
Hard to leave, but life has its own plan;
I go back to my trees, le grand fleuve,
you journey north to a stronger blas.
We pose now in front of a camera
in the Galway City Museum, a whale of
a Ceathrú Rua hooker suspended behind us,
faces of two old friends in Galway
our souls held here forever,
to make sure we come back, come home
to the music at the Crane, launches at galleries,
finding hedgehogs in the garden among snails.
*a hooker is a type of sailing boat with red sails used for transport in the west of Ireland.
Father and Daughter at 16
The days dragging her
twenty miles to watch
a GAA match in the rain,
her feigned interest
in rugby strategy while
secretly sending texts,
the mild resistance turning
from her favourite programme
melted away when she
came home with Kafka, Sartre
and Proust in her pocket
and he knew she was ready
to stay up talking ‘til
three in the morning
as he dug out all his old books,
tried to remember lines,
relived his teenage angst—
then was taken by surprise
when she brought home a boy
who asked the score of the match.
Sandra Bunting is originally from Canada, and has lived in Galway for more than 20 years. She works at the Academic Writing Centre, NUI Galway, and leads two creative writing seminars in poetry for undergraduates. Currently on the editorial board of Crannóg literary magazine, Sandra obtained her MA in writing from NUI, Galway in 2003. Her poetry collection Identified in Trees was published in 2006 by Marram Press.
Fionán O’Connell. Born 1961. Trained as a Primary School teacher. Self-taught in photography. Married to Paula with two children Oisín & Laoise and living in Dublin, Fionán has been making a living from his work for twelve years. He has directed several television documentaries: Silverfish Productions’The Goat in The Temple, MOS Productions’ Good Man Mary, Windmill Lane Pictures’ A Quiet Revolution and In Search of Europe.