Another sunny day saving Tara. Cycled up the coast to Howth in the morning and then back to the homeless canteen for lunch. A small piece of pork and spinach and chick pea curry with rice and mash, and a slice of carrot cake, 1 euro ninety cent.
Spent the afternoon writing e mails and catching up with who is saying what in the various poetical chat joints from which i am barred for speaking of bardic lore. A name none dare speak, for fear of having to acknowledge a poetic truth too complex to cognise without much study.
Sad, but we all need our campaigns to keep us in active service at the front line of WaR, the writing and recital which forms the basis of a serious bores career in creative unemployment and a full time life of total work avoidance.
Then to the Royal College of Surgeons for 6.30 to the Denis O'Driscoll launch of his new book. It was in the ballroom and packed to the gills. I was on the lookout for a big fish after nearly finalising the bill for the Save Tara gig on 29 September, which I am organising the poets for as part of my MC duties. I was three short and had a feeling the real job would be finished there.
One of the female poets I had written to but had not got back as she only checks her e mail once a week, Bernadette O'Reilly, was there and agreed to do it, so two more to go. At this point i had four women and two men, the idea to have an equal balance of sexes..
I asked one poet I knew, but he wasn't keen to do it without payment, then asked Pat Boran, RTE's answer to Ian MacMillan, but a much savvier and gifted operator. He immediately agreed, until told the date, which clashed with another gig he has booked, there in black and white, printed in the Poetry Ireland newsletter.
He suggested asking Peter Fallon, and Gabriel Rosenstock, Ireland's premier Irish language poet, with over 100 books to his name, and at this point got speaking to Tom Conaty, who was advocating Rosenstock also.
I met Gabriel first at an IMRAM event in 2005, which is the Irish language poetry festival, and his method of introduction was very novel. He waved his hands around my aura chaunting a bardic Ohhmm, and said a few words in Gaelic, and i spun him one of mine when he requested me to, after which he took my hand, solemnly looking into my eye saying that our meeting had been written in the stars and was meant to be.
Rosenstock was only one of three poets I have spoken to who know of the Amergin Cauldron of Poesy poem, Conaty bumping up the number to three tonight. I said to Paul Casey, who is co-ordinating nationally, that I thought O'Driscoll's launch would be the place things were nailed down, and that the list would come by bardic methods, as we wanted poets who care about Tara, not the ones with books to sell first and Conaty is perfect as he is very modest; proposing i ask Rosenstock do it when i first spoke with him. And it was only when he started talking of myth and i asked him to do it, i realised he was mad keen to do it in the first place.
Conaty is a Cavan poet and senachie/storyteller and childrens' writer, who is as mad on the myth as i am, and we had a good long chat, and just as Boran re-aired his thought about asking Peter Fallon, Fallon came through the door with Heaney, and i decided against it as the two heavyweights stopped at the top of the stairs and shay and i made direct eye contact for the very first time, on the fourth time of our orbits intersecting, a number the bardic mind could go to town on as regards interpreting the psychic foundations of this whole shaboodle; the just meant to be'ness of it, saving Tara. And it is fitting that the bill was finalised in this space, where all the Irish mob from the Mossbawn magus down were milling about.
Heaney threw his hat in with the agitators on Thursday's independent and any true poet, as Boran and Conaty did, would immediately recognise the worthiness of such a cause. Not to promote the selling of books is this, but to keep the dream and keep the memory, tell how the throne room there at Tara was called the "Réalta na bhFile", "Star of the Poets."
The four cycles of myth can be poo pooed, but in a wider context, the global one, this island is the HQ of poetry and we are rightfully proud of the true ones who spend six years swimming home to the Well of Siegas, the source of the Boyne, as no other country has the poetic we do, and learning to be a bardic poet, takes the same effort and length of study as to become a doctor, and just as difficult.
Don't confuse the real Irish poet with their English equivalent, a pointless rent a bore employed to hang around libraries or infant schools chanting the cat sat on the mat to disinterested five year olds. We are the best in the world, with the most respect. Look at Heaney, Yeats, Kavanagh, all touched with the otherworldly crush the English mob can only dream and get green about, so Love and peace, the toxic shock has gone and so think on, Save Tara from they who believe it is worth trampling on 2000 years of culture to shave an hour off their journey to the commercial centers they only want to accrue material wealth in, and for what? To have two houses instead of one? Three cars instead of none?
Three generations ago, we were all in the bog, and look at us now, greedy bastards pretending we are connected to they who did have it tough, my mothers great grandmother tossed on the roads of Bohola, Mayo, in 1847, she herself hearing second hand the tale, of they who dies in their millions, and for what? So we can sup in Starbucks and moan about the weather and what shit is on telly, what material goods we deserve? I am a poor man and always have been, never had a penny, never missed it, and on 29 September in seven locations on the island including Dublin, Derry and Achill, Save Tara gigs will be happening.
Have pride in your island and attend if you can, voice support for the real Ireland, not the millionaire mindset, the expectations of our dead generations, ran to a full belly and a roof over their heads, a song in their hearts and ...yeah, simple life untroubled by a mass of material wealth