Irish Writing: Hugh McFadden

Below the Bridge

The sun had warmed the wooden seat for me
on the bank of the River Fane
situated below the old stone bridge
at Inniskeen. And as I write this verse
out, Patrick Kavanagh, I think of you
sitting below the bridge at Baggot Street
on the bank of the Grand Canal,
one warm and sunny summer’s day
sometime in the middle ’Sixties –
perhaps the year was Sixty-Four or Six –
Anyway, you sat there then, as tranquil
as any Buddha ever did,
although, of course, you said yourself
you messaged no message at all
only simple joy at nature’s beauty
and, by God’s grace, peace at its heart.

As I write this, the sound of the water,
while it rushes over the flashing stones
rippling and breaking in the clear daylight,
mingles with the strains of music
drifting on the air near your own Centre,
as a white butterfly flits by the brown
river – its lush green bank all overgrown –
My heart’s spirit lifts with the rising day:
All the cares of the city far away.

Bio: Hugh McFadden

Hugh McFadden is a poet, critic, and literary editor. His poems have been published widely in literary magazines. He is the author of four collections of poetry, the most recent being Empire of Shadows, published by Salmon Poetry in September 2012. A Selected Poems, Elegies and Epiphanies was published by Lagan Press in 2005.
  He is the executor of the literary estate of the writer John Jordan, and edited his collected poems, collected short stories, Selected Prose: Crystal Clear, as well as John Jordan: Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, Dublin, 2008). He worked as a journalist with The Irish Press newspaper group; and lectured in journalism at the Dublin Institute of Technology.  He has reviewed for many papers & journals, including Books Ireland.  He lives in Dublin.

Irish Writing :: Table of Contents, May 2017