• africmcglinchey

riding the light

Updated: Jun 20


In Dublin today, my boy looked out of his window;

a skewbald horse in the street, being given a wash down.

In the cul-de-sac at the end of Black Horse Avenue,

a balcony game of bingo, invisible voice

from a tannoy ringing out numbers:

33, come in for ya tea, 26, bed and breakfast...

Seagulls and pigeons cruising through Phoenix

Park, calls echoed by sirens, a lion's roars

and the songs after: On the Banks of the Royal Canal,

Dirty aul' Town and Raglan Row. He noticed

a kid, he says, walking the park with his parents,

counting the steps. We’ll go hme, they said,

when you get to a thousand. He looked at his watch.

We’re not at a thousand yet, not at a thousand

yet, not at a thousand yet….

and they rode the light, and they smiled

and they didn’t correct him.


I am indebted to the Arts Council for funding a project to write poems during, but not necessarily about, the lockdown, and to share them on social media, the most immediate and direct form of communication at this time. The poems will be responses to stories given to me. This first one is from my son, Cian Hamilton, who arrived back in Dublin from Zimbabwe, just in time for lockdown. Thank you Cian. x

Photo courtesy of Cian Hamilton.



 If you have a question, project or inquiry you would like to talk to me about, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

+353 (0)86 3633567

Castlefreke, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon