Literary Orphans

The Uilleann Piper by Caroline O Connor Coyle

The Uilleann pipe player has many sons, I’ve met one.

Boston Irish, he said, but my dad’s from Dublin, you must of heard of him, he’s Mulligan.

We sat and chat and doe eyes trailed his father, a fine figure of a warrior. Mystic gut soul, thought lost forever, snaps of erotic pleasure, as he pumped and squeezed down on the box.

Jaunting his pipes, squealy squally,  weile  waile,  two fellow fiddles and a Rasta guitar, weaving, hovering, butterfly bobbing, mesmeric transcending trances, keening wailing dances.

Reels that reeled out into verses, seams bursts of streaming flailing sounds, Like flapping shirts on a woman’s line.

That’s my brother, he’s born over here, my dad went back and forth a lot. Boston boy is proud tonight.

Head moving pivotal rhythm, lost in primeval brain places that take us back to fight and tribe and droning pig squeal pipe.

Building up my pecs, he flexes, Claddagh cross and Dearthair band tells me, one has passed, don’t ask, his eyes say, so I don’t.

Music is in your blood I say, as his map unfurls, trying hard to fill the boots of clod and earth and back breaking work.

God, you should have heard my family play together, accordions, pipes, whistles, fiddles, cousins, sons, fathers, clan, familial binds like leather.

I can’t believe he can walk in here and join the fiddling players.

Its Sean’s, I say , Well in Boston, it don’t work that way.

He’s a big man I thought and such a small stool.

Mulligan packs up his pipes and Boston boy says goodnight.

O Typekey Divider

Nominated for various international awards and winner of the Goldsmith International Poetry Festival in 2013, Caroline is very interested in the musicality of poetry. She has collaborated with singers and musicians (Uilleann piper) to record her poetry, travelling around Ireland to recite at Tionals (Traditional Music gatherings) and various poetry events.

Caroline is passionate about bringing poetry into the community, poetry for all, through a variety of different mediums and environments. Poetry in the Park, a monthly meeting outdoors in Burgess Park by the river Shannon won the 2014 Epic Awards for Voluntary Arts in Ireland and Caroline has attended the Voluntary Arts Scotland’s national conference, ‘Culture, Creativity and You: Why Making Matters’ and the Epic Awards Winners’ Reception in Glasgow on Wednesday 26 February 2014.

Currently lecturering in the Humanities Dept in the Athlone Institute of Technology, Caroline enjoys singing and sings with two groups, ‘The Higgs Bosons’ a group of lecturers from AIT and ‘Luan Tunes’, an acapella female group. She also enjoys art and is currently working on curating an exhibition of poetry by children in care and care leavers in Ireland. She is involved in amateur drama and played the feisty Juleen McCoon from Tubernaroon in John.B. Keane’s play “The Chastitute” in the Little Theatre Athlone in November.

Carolines Picture

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Sarah Hardy