Saturday, December 06, 2008
One note encountered
the next in a Gortahork bar
a lit hole dug in the evening
its resinous tang, the landlord
playing chess in the corner
and, having nothing better
to do, the reel began
whistling itself to itself.
While I watch his elbow stitch the air
to the triplets of ‘The Black Mare of Fanad’,
the next sound along, just out of hearing,
is the purr of the cat whose gut he sent haring
in search of the tune, its phantom paw
coming down softly, viciously on it.
I ask for ‘The Cat that Kittled
in Jamesie’s Wig’ and here
they come now, the kittens:
moving on to my thatch,
digging their claws in and holding
on through the lightest of naps;
droplets of blood sloping
over my lashes and down
my grateful cheeks.
For a youtube clip of Donegal fiddlers James Byrne, Tommy Peoples and Danny Meehan playing that strathspey I mention, ‘The Cat That Kittled in Jamesie’s Wig’ (youtube embedding ‘disabled by request’), see here.