Sandra Bunting

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

to soccer

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.