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Gerard Coughlan


I canít halt the ebbtide of your decline
But I can stroll across
A broad beach of memories,
Paddle indulgently
In the rock-pools
Of childhood.
Chase the wind-possessed tablecloth
Of numerous picnics
And gaze,
Across the shifting sands
Of adolescence.

All of these Sun-days
You gave to me
As I sing to you now,
Trying to inspire a mouthed chorus or two,
I think of the mermaidsí song
From far out at sea;
Its melody
Falling just short
Of where I strain to listen.

© by Gerard Coughlan.
Used here with the authorís permission.

Gerard Coughlan lives in Cork City, Ireland. He has always loved poetry as an art form and has written all his life. Gerard says his chosen themes are many and varied, but he strives to include the magnificence of nature in many of his works, ďeven when it involves family relationships, dreadful urban planning, or the myopia which seems to plague so many of our politicians.Ē Gerardís work has been featured in journals and on the radio; his influences have been Philip Larkin, Patrick Kavanagh, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Eavan Boland, and John Betjeman, among others.

Post New Comment:
I hadn't heard "ebbtide" before. Thanks for teaching me a new word!
Posted 05/10/2023 07:51 PM
This poem draws a vividly descriptive, moving analogy between the changing shoreline and the phases of life. Lovely! I don't write good free verse, but I know it when I see it!
Posted 05/10/2023 02:39 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful images and details.
Posted 05/10/2023 01:17 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
Brilliant imagery. I too want to stroll on the broad beach of memories, paddle in the rock pools of childhood, chase the wind-possessed tablecloth of numerous picnics and gaze across the shifting sands of adolescence.
Posted 05/10/2023 12:34 PM
Beautiful and moving! Thank you, Gerard!
Posted 05/10/2023 12:12 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
The extended metaphor of the sea is glorious and so, Gerard, is your poem.
Posted 05/10/2023 11:49 AM
liz dolan:
Love the metaphor, Gerard. My folks hail from Tullaree and Castlewellan.
Posted 05/10/2023 10:27 AM
I like the Sun-days.
Posted 05/10/2023 09:43 AM
You cant get much more Irish than Cork city in County Cork.
Posted 05/10/2023 09:26 AM
Wilda Morris:
Poignant and beautiful. I can certainly identify with this poem.
Posted 05/10/2023 08:49 AM
Nice use of metaphor to create an effective and poignant poem.
Posted 05/10/2023 08:43 AM

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