Poem: Nineteen Seventy-Six, by Conor O’Callaghan


Our superior has gone on a reconnaissance mission
to one of the hospitality tents the Open lays on for suits.
Pending further orders, we are to man the tenth tee.

The symbolism of where we stand – the midway mark,
its dry breeze turned back into, its music faced –
is still a fraction conceptual for our frame of reference.

We are communicating thus to resemble astronauts.
Whenever a threeball of little consequence drifts past,
an ageing life-form holds aloft a vertical QUIET PLEASE.

Our mother is visiting an acquaintance from pre-history
whose husband has a name which echoes “cinnamon”,
a limp from international squash and something terminal.

I pray that my freckles will amalgamate into a tan.
Galleries erupt out on the links like flares or galaxies
imploding above our heads. The dunes are singed to beige.

I pray for Demis Roussos who eats two ducks a day;
for the weatherman who has only to toss dandelions
nightly onto the twenty-six counties and hope they stick.

Conor O’Callaghan’s fourth collection of poems, The Sun King , is due shortly from Gallery Press