Friday, June 15, 2007

O'Brien meets O'Sullivan

(The Hand of Man and the Hand of God?)
Poet Dennis Sullivan passes the Growler to Poet O'Brien.
O'Brien to the left, O'Sullivan at the right as usual...

Big night last night! Alan Casline of Benevolent Bird Press Published a broadside of my poem "Passing the Growler:" The poem is a rumination on a life lived. It was spurred by a few lines from a Patrick Kavanagh poem. The Growler in question was handed down to me by my Father. Modern day Growlers are half gallon bottles used to transport beer home from a brewery. In my Great Great Grandfathers day they were made of tin as in the photo above. The name may have come from the sound the beer made when escaping from the tin on the way back from the Pub. My father used to tell me of my Grandmother's Father (as a child) being sent around to the rear door of the Pub with the tin to be filled with draft beer, which was then brought home to be consumed. The phrase "Fetch tha Growler" meant it was time to go to the Pub for a refill. And, you had better be careful on the way back, because the lore in our household held that the name "Growler" came from the altitude adopted by the 'Ol Man if you spilled too much on the way back home!

A Wood cut by Alan Casline:
Artist, Publisher,and Poet Extraordinare
inspired by the Poem.

Oh, Yeah The Poem!

"Through the mist-chill fields I went

With a pitch-fork on my shoulder

Less for use than for devilment."

*Patrick Kavanagh

Passing the Growler:

Less for use

than for devil meant,

inescapable, preordained,

predestined, predetermined…

With a shoulder at the pitch

erect, yet teetering, I giggle,

I swoop, I sway, I lurch,

my timber put up.

Through the mist,

Through the chill,

to the fields,

into the box,

into the hole,


only by a feeling,

I lumber, then shuffle,

I shamble, and sometimes think to clod,

My timber, perhaps, put down.

I had the dream today,

the box, the box, the box,

inescapable, predestined,

a doorway into darkness,

the portal through the mist

Yet, I would enter with a smile,

a life lived, some things left,

for others to make done,

content with that which

I have started and

that which I leave finished…

my timber pitched, a light to find my way,

smirking, I chuckle as I go,

with a desert fork on my shoulder

less for use than for devilment.

obeedude 01/apr/07

O'Brien isn't Growling any more,
" 'e's goot 'is Guinness!"