Fishamble Street.
by Stephen McGuinness

I work
my way along
Fishamble Street.
where Handel
first aired
his Messiah.
It takes me
from the heights
and glories
of Christchurch Cathedral
down, to see
the wretched pagan river
at Wood Quay.
From arched red brick
on the Blind Boys’ School
past the restoration theatre
on Smock Alley.
The oldest surviving
street in Dublin
meanders from
the ancient
Black Pool
from which the city
takes its name
to the place
where the norse
longships came in
to raid
and to winter.
Later, where they walked
their ox carts
up the hill
to market
winding between
mud huts and cesspits.
I follow that
same path
still going against
the flow.
Descending from
the high ground
and the High Church
to the lost
and the low
life of the Liffey.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Fishamble Street still follows the same path, in the centre of Dublin, as when it was laid out by the Viking founders of the city in the 10th century.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Oldest continuously inhabited house in Dublin” (Fishamble Street), found at this website.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen McGuinness, 46, works as a chef in Dublin City, Ireland. His poems have been published online on Eat Sleep Write and by Silver Birch Press in the I AM WAITING Poetry Series.