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True light, an old Galway hooker tied up at Kinvara Pier

Tugging the ropes with the flowing morning tide

The stern dancing a jig, eager to sail out on Galway Bay.

Dennis strides with grey tweed pants and polo-neck Aran sweater

As the flagged quay echo the ring of his nailed boots.

He moves through the sleepy village welcomed by a dog.


Tall and bronzed, a broad framed man with greying hair

Like many artists and dreamers attracted to this place

Under harvest moon he sailed and settled in the red cottage

Galvins are Cork people with a melodic southern lilt

But unlike the others who settled here he had a different way

He moved among us like one of our own, returned.


Large mugs of coffee he drank at the pier bar

Laughed with us at our “saying” and pondered on

Stories that were old and strange and they weighed on us.

Something behind his bright eyes searched gently inside

Where our fears and frail ways were held in trust

He listened and with words few and mild, we felt understood


Poet, Philosopher, Fisherman, Dreamer, Carver of bog oak

His wonder at dark crevases in trees buried for a thousand years

That same beauty he saw in us and helped us to discover for ourselves

When we go our way and our boats plough different oceans

The mackerel we cooked at dawn and ate with brown bread

Will hold images of our journey forever rising above the horizon.

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About this record

Written by Tony King

Published here 08 Jan 2024 and originally published Summer 2005

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