When I landed
A bolt of pain went
From my heel up through my leg and spine
And I fell down, like Achilles,
Shivering with shock,
The rest of the class silent with awe.
‘Stay away from horses,’ the doctor told me.
‘It was a gym horse,’ I gladly corrected him,
Not wanting to be perceived as bold
For I was only ten or eleven and
I had all my wild oats to sow.
I remember that bolt of pain
As sharply as I remember my
A silent burst of sensation and then shock.
These were the beginnings of my
Heaven and Hell.
Here’s a poem I wrote about bonfire night. For those of you who don’t know, bonfire night happens in Ireland (and most European countries) on the 23rd of June every year. Basically it involves building a massive pyre and setting it on fire as parents and kids from the neighbourhood look on. Where I came from every road had its own bonfire and sometimes there was trouble usually involving theft or attempted theft of material from the heap.
By David Jordan
Bonfire night was always a special occasion on our road.
The heap had to be watched as rival gangs would try to
Steal from it or set it on fire prematurely.
One year we made a wigwam out of it for two or three of
Us natives to sit inside: our innocuous wickerman.
On the night
Our parents would join us
And watch the fire grow and die
Like a Greek tragedy.
For there is something primal
In watching those flames dance.
There is something fascinating
In the conflagration,
Awesome in its destructive power
As the pyre falls to pieces
Sending smoke up to the stars.
Yes, bonfire night was a special occasion for us.
Each year, for one night only,
The flames would dance and destroy.