I remember summer day trips to Bangor with my family
From Bombed out red brick and mortar Belfast to
Sunbleached Bangor streets I felt like Kojac
with my lolly staring down the
sloping streets towards the water.
Mossvale Street consigned to history,
Lingers only in memories.
I feared the gap between train and station
Enjoyed the smells of diesel and locomotive noises.
Icecream, KFC and dad strong and wise
We buried worries in the sand and watched the tide lapping
At our toes as evening fell we made the journey home
Clicking and clacking we slumbered days gone by.
Woodworm devoured our piano and my fishing rods
Uncaring of the sympathetic magic, the memories attached.
Grandfather’s hand me downs real wooden poles and spools
An old tackle box full of lures.
Father took us to Bangor where we tried to catch our supper,
Baited the hooks and cast the lines.
We had become fishers of men. Carefree days.
Hired a rowing boat and went to sea.
Cast our lines, caught a fish, I couldn’t
Kill it, my father dealt one blow, brought it home.
Dinner I couldn’t eat, none was left to waste.
The next time we lost a rod something dragged it to see.
Poseidon’s wrath claimed it, nearly took my brother,
Allowed to rot, the home consumed, never to cast again.
Humanity changes the world around it causing constant flux
Tearing down rain forests and childhood memories without a care-
– until it is too late.
Our childhood was walks along the tow-path, days out in Bangor,
Burying sisters in the sand and running in the water-
– Only a concrete marina remains.
I walk those memories and find the door ajar reality
Clashes with the past, here is a carpark sign-
– There had lurked a sea monster.
Curious children poked a desiccated husk, mermaid, we thought someone’s killed a mermaid,
Dad ran his eye over the bloated mass a basking shark-
– Chopped up by something.
Waded through the picky pool watched ships hug the coastline,
On a clear day you could see for miles-
– We didn’t care lost in our own world.
Paddled in the water and counted the barnacles, ate dulse and icecream.
Mother worked on her tan-
– Dad flew a kite.