The Copper Coast is a stretch of the southern coast of Ireland in County Waterford. It is named for the historic metal-mining industry, the legacies of which now constitute a tourist attraction.
This was where I misspent my youth; where I learnt to swim; where I rode my first motorcycle – a shiny red Honda 50; where I kissed my first girlfriend; where I ate dilisk and Tayto crisps till they made me sick. Ah Bonmahon!
Boats that belong to better days
Mingle with iron flotsam
Washed ashore on a sea of shingle
Fishermen’s shacks sit like pygmies
In the shadow of the power station
Their colourful facades
Browbeaten by nature’s extremes
A stone garden sprouts incongruously
Beside one such dwelling;
It does not bloom in spring
But neither will it die when winter comes
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
The time is near
The clock is queer
I have had more than one beer.
Papa crept downstairs
In the early morning.
The keys are close to the time.
They open the locked cabinet beneath it.
The shotgun is quickly loaded
Two in the chambers just in case
Then the gun is heeled to the wall
And his forehead firmly anchors it.
Hands reach down –
Papa is no more.