Quinsboro Road -- Bray, Co. Wicklow
Quinsboro Road bristled with morning light
Dazzling concrete paths, street, walls, windows and doors
Were all singing and cheering, people were completely ignored.
The street tapped the soles of my feet and called up to me
Hey man, dance its party time, get with it, let yourself go
Brilliant I said, but what’s the occasion, a wedding or a feast.
No occasion, we do this every morning, thought we’d let you know!
Shop windows were flirting with the sun, inviting him to come
In and then rejecting him, but he played the game and tried
Every one, what fun, sometimes he lost, sometimes he won.
The lampposts were all marching up and down shouting Hey
You paths there, cool it, stay off the street, keep in line.
The paths ignored them and continued running up and down
This is our town they shouted we’ll do what we damn well like.
A Georgian door was singing 0 Sole Mio, pure tenor backed
By a quartet of Georgian windows that joined in the chorus.
Christ he’s just as good a Jussi Bjorling I remarked to a cherry tree
That was crying it’s petals off in a well heeled garden. Pretty lady
Why? She blushed and said ‘for love for joy’. Don’t mind me
I’m so happy, it happens every time he sings, he really knows
How to pull my strings. Go for it I called to the Georgian halldoor
You’ve got it, flaunt it, they’ll come begging for more. His notes
Soared clean and sweet in the sparkling air, I walked on and I
Could hear a magnolia singing ‘One Fine Day’ so exquisitely and I
Like the Cherry Tree cried for pure love and joy, don’t mind me
I said, I’m just a boy, who wants to let it all hang loose, who wants
To know the tender pain of something lost, some sweet pale
Memories from the past, don’t mind me, these tears won’t last.
Two dustbins, neat, on wheels, a bus stop and a wrought iron gate
Were really rocking it and it seemed the whole street was
Gathering round to hear these cool dudes, boy what a sound.
The bus stop played the double base, the gate was on the drums
One bin played sax and the other, how he sang, let it rip, till
Everyone was dancin’ and wow when he flipped head over heels
And ended with the splits, the street just went crazy and screamed
More! More! And I could still hear the beat as I moved on towards
The railway crossing, down to the sea where the waves were wavin’
Up at me. I waited at the crossing while the DART whistled by
I’m off to Howth she laughed, hate to leave the party but hey
I’ll be back this afternoon and I’ll see you all then, the street said
Go baby, we’ll be rockin’ here till ten. The gate lifted and I made for
The sea,. It said rest your bones brother, we’ll play some sweet harmony
I lay on the beech and let it roll over me, over this brilliant day
On the Quinsboro Road when I walked down to the dancing sea.
© Dermot McCabe
I was feeling pretty good when I wrote this poem. It was one of those bright sunny mornings in April when everything seemmed alive and exuberant. I was footloose with nothing to do but enjoy the inconsequential magic of ordinary things in an ordinary town.