Dublin is • Lorcan McNamee

Dublin is a box of surprises.
It is cruelty, a maze with no way out,
a landscape made up of little beings,
and their useless hopes.
Dublin is a smile and a kick;
it is seagulls, litter and the deluge.

Dublin is ours, and then again it is not:
now it belongs more to the world than
to us.
My two grandfathers came here and
met their wives;
my young grandmothers, Dublin natives both.
Without this city I would not exist,
though my father hated the place as
one hates solitude, fear, abandon.

Dublin is a place and an idea.
It is exhaustion, rage and happiness.
The city is not easy but it is rich,
rotten and formed from layers and
layers of dreams and disappointments.

Dublin is
a beehive full of
hyperactive bees, maniac insects,
little beings without direction
or goals.

The city is a person,
drifting, mixed up,
stumbling in the darkness.

It is as if the city had grown up
here by itself on the east coast,
something naturally occurring and not
built: for many people an ugliness,
an aberration,
a wart on the skin of the country.

Ireland is out there,
but it is also in here, in this complex,
fizzing, ruthless city.

Dublin is mine, and also it is not;
in reality it is not like that at all, but
I feel good here,
an outsider, at home.

Lorcan McNamee was born in Sligo, Ireland. For years, he lived and worked as an English teacher in other countries – Iceland, England and Portugal. It was while living in Lisbon that he learned Portuguese. He is currently a teacher of English, Spanish and Literacy, back in Sligo. He is also an author: He has written and published two books so far – A Year in Lisbon in 2017 and Be Do Go Have in 2019, both available on Kindle. He writes poetry in English and – only recently – in Portuguese. Has an interest in languages and dances salsa (badly). For more works by Lorcan check his website: lorcanmcnamee.com.

[This poem was published in our first issue • “Connections Brazil & Ireland” • in Dec 2020]

Featured photo: Glauber Venturini.