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Tag Archives Bantry Bay


For Sarah Selzer

The arithmetic suggests you might have been

conceived on the night ferry to Dublin.

That, with a drive across the republic

in August, and a week of spuds and Guinness,

of Sweet Afton’s and of Passing Clouds,

of fuchsias, escaped from some gentry’s garden,

purpling wild and red down narrow lanes

where family men fought a ragged war,

rocks at Hell’s Mouth, white and bleached as bones,

the lullaby lapping of Bantry Bay,



A year after we honeymooned by the shores

of Bantry Bay opposite Whiddy Island –

low lying, with gently rolling hills –

construction began on the island

of an international oil terminal,

big enough to permit the largest tankers

to unload straight from the Persian Gulf.

The bay was ideal – a deep, sheltered channel,

far away from crowded shipping lanes,

and Bantry town’s population was small.

In ’79 an ultra-large tanker

exploded at the jetty killing scores.



As luck would have it, we were married this day

exactly half a century ago.

We holiday with our small family

to avoid the inevitable party

and announce our golden wedding to friends

via Facebook – and receive some humbling

encouragements that speak not simply

of being there like pebbles as the tide

ebbs and flows but of inspiration.


We chose to honeymoon by Bantry Bay.

Ireland spoke of mystery and romance –

to us ignorant of its privations.