The 16th of June is Bloomsday, the day on which Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses is set. I have never been in Dublin on the day itself but here’s a sonnet remembering my first day in Dublin, in Bewley’s Oriental Coffee house, about to set off on one of the most significant adventures of my life. This poem will appear in the section ‘Local Habitations’ in my new Collection The Singing Bowl which will come out with Canterbury Press this November.
as always you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button or on the title
I look up, hands around my coffee cup,
On Grafton street in Bewley’s coffee shop,
Blue Mountain, Java and Colombian
The labels are a journey on their own
Then the aroma as they’re ground by hand,
Beans broken open. Out of every land,
Separate savours float across this room
Of dark mahogany, to a softer bloom
Of stained glass windows, where I sit apart
Warming my hands, and waiting on my heart
To call me to adventure. I have found my voice,
Yeats in my pocket, backpack full of Joyce ,
I’m nineteen, it is nineteen seventy-seven
And Dublin is the very gate of heaven.
3 responses to “In Bewley’s Coffee House; a poem for Bloomsday”
I’ve been enjoying your poetry for some time now…thought I would drop you a note. I love hearing you read them. My sister is on her way to Ireland tomorrow from the U.S. How I wish I could join her. I have been reading the books of John O’Donohue, presently “Beauty The Invisible Embrace”, He writes so beautifully, as do you.
God’s blessings be upon you,
That’s delightful, Malcolm, I read it when you posted it before but enjoyed it even more this time, when I know more about the adventure you were about to embark on. You were so young and so completely YOU! You have kept the same wonder and sense of beauty and marvellous gift of language untarnished throughout all the years in between. Thank you again and bless you today,
Thanks Sally. I’m reconnecting very strongly with that period in my life