Day 25 of 365 – Carlos Reyes

Day 5

A Clare Story


“Our Lady of the Telephone Booth,”
Brigid by the roadside out of Lahinch
up the incline towards The Cliffs
just before O’Brien’s monument and the pub.


The parade of cars
coming up the hill endless
all the way up the coast from Miltown.

Don’t you see
as I drove up the grade
Half awake and missing my tea,

she turned and winked
from the glass enclosure.

Had I blinked I would have missed it.

I couldn’t believe what I’d seen.
It rattled me. A drink
was what I needed.

I pulled in at the near pub,

had to tell the publican,

who gave me a look,
went straight to phone.

From Along the Flaggy Shore: Poems from West Clare by Carlos Reyes (2018). Copyright © Carlos Reyes


Poet and translator Carlos Reyes first came to Ireland in the early 1970s, when he purchased a three-hundred-year-old cottage in County Clare. His neighbours in Letterkelly consider him part of the family. For 40 years, Reyes was publisher and editor of Trask House Books, a poetry press. He is a founding editor of Hubbub, a poetry magazine, and served on the editorial staff of Ar Mhuin na Muice (On a Pig’s Back), an Irish literary journal. He has published ten volumes of poetry, many volumes of translations, and a memoir, Keys to the Cottage, Stories from the West of Ireland (2015). He is the recipient of a Heinrich Böll Fellowship (Achill Island, Ireland) and fellowships from Yaddo and the Fundación Valparaíso (Mojácar, Spain). Acadia National Park and Joshua Tree National Park among others have hosted him where he has served as poet-in-residence. When not travelling, Reyes makes his home in Portland, Oregon USA.

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