In 2010, Scalderverse was a series of weekly poems published in the Wexford Echo in celebration of Enniscorthy’s 1500th anniversary. Scalderverse was curated by Padhraig Nolan in association with Scallta Media. Paul contributed the poem Exploring the Town (June 30th, 2010).
Exploring the Town
I will show you the sights, I will teach you about your town.
Together we’ll thread these roads named after Patriots –
Climb the tomb-like rock atop Vinegar Hill –
Feed ducks at The Still and count horses grazing on The Island.
And on evenings under skies redder than any seen on a postcard
We’ll follow swans along the banks of The Bare Meadows,
We’ll dunk in The Slaney, we’ll kick a football through Bellefield
While swapping tales of The Brothers and the best shortcuts home.
Until, one day, you’ll discover meeting spots where Coláiste Bríde
Girls from country parishes – like Monageer, Glenbrien, Cloughbawn –
Do mingle with townies from The Shannon, Pearse Road,
The Bloody Bridge. And then it will soon be time to leave, time to part.
But always remember your town just south of Scarawalsh,
Its ironclad tracks to Edermine, its Prom paved with memories
Of when we played there together, your small hands in mine.
For you will always be welcome here, in your Cathedral Town.
Where you will learn our songs, our lilts, our way of talking,
Our carry-on that outsiders can sometimes find quare.
Where you will first kiss a girl, first lose a game, first earn a cent.
Where, in the end, you both will come to visit our grave. And so
When you wake, my sons, when you rise tomorrow, and are
Kissed by your mother, I will keep this pledge I make tonight.
For through your eyes I have learned to see again, and can
Explore my town as if for the first time, as if I had just been born.
Ⓒ Paul O’Reilly