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Martin Delany is a former businessman and a native of Dublin. Following a bout of ill health in 1999 he has found time to commit to paper ideas, thoughts and imaginings carried around in his head for many years. He now divides his time between Ireland and Spain. This is his first published work.
The author, drawing on a lifetime of experience, makes a direct appeal to our senses in his poetry. He writes of love, pain, sorrow, regret and deep longings. He uniquely combines this sensuality with humorous poetry and flash writing expressed in very short stories of truth and fiction.
Dividing his time between Spain and Listowel Co.Kerry, he has drawn inspiration from both places and the title of this first collection Flying South represents a Dubliner’s dream of escaping an urban business environment for a life of creativity in a mystical south.
The boat leaves every thirty minutes travelling the forty-six kilometres to the end of the lake. It pulls out quickly, latecomers running from the Piazza Cavour not wanting to take the hydrofoil, only eighty minutes to Colico but a large part of a week’s salary. Routing by Cernobbio, Torno, Moltrasio and Urio brings one into the middle lake and with half the journey gone Bellagio appears, the Versailles of Italy, the summer home of Pliny the Younger, ripening gardens cascading down to the shore.
A group of tourists, flint faced maidens from the New World, ask me to point out Versace’s and George Clooney’s villas. Weary from the heat and suffocating humidity I tell them of Pliny’s letter of two thousand years ago, written to a friend, concerning the woman who threw herself and her husband from the terrace of their villa. Her husband, suffering from an ulcer in those parts that modesty conceals, allowed her to examine him and give him an honest opinion of whether it was curable. She saw it, gave up hope, and tying herself to her husband she plunged with him into the lake.
As I finish the story of Pliny the boat rocks gently against the harbour wall. Quickly the wooden gangplank is pulled on board and my erstwhile friends disembark grim faced to resume their search for more Old World culture.
My beloved goes on a journey
Although gone she is with me in this room;
in fleecy indentations of silky legs and calves,
in ankle socks smaller than a marsupial’s arrival
in the pouch, in shoes left with a message to
walk with me, in the tidiness of drawers of
underthings, electric to the touch, in love notes
scattered like confetti.
Although gone she is with me in a crowd;
I see her face in every face, I smell her skin
in every flower, I hear her in my heart of hearts,
I feel her touch in every bone.
Smothering in frail words I am a soul in lonely flight.
I probe another lifetime seeking answers
fastened to future dreams;
curious we never met and were you
there too, happy before our time?
Perhaps we should have had children, the
statement dancing provocatively, sinuously,
my mind pondering the colour of their hair,
age and place in a different past.
Strange how we are filled with the same
dismal family histories and stories of anguish;
lengthy in time and short in the telling,
their end trailing into moments of silence,
minds alert to the similar, the hope growing
the other knows, understands, and is setting out
to build on fragile foundations, a house of joy.
Impatiently I blurt out ‘I love you’
By Martin Delany
Published in cooperation with original writing