216.May 30

Isle of Skye, Scotland

UP, Breakfast, train, wrote postcards, took pictures. We went through the beautiful highlands along the coast line to Skye via Kyle of Lochalsh. I want a boat. I am a seagoing vessel. Tonight was the last time I shaved.

POSTCARD: Ouch! I just saw an orange VW Bug parked in front of a stone cottage. Quite a contrast. We are on a train to the Isle of Skye, driving through fields and forests. I am in an observer car in the rear, where I can see every direction except forward. Oh.

There is on old metal horse drawn planter or plow like one we have sitting out right here near Garve station. It looked just time same. This is good horse country, they are all over. I think Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer was modeled after young sheep. There is still much snow on the mountains just up in my view. Looking out the window, I notice they bind there railway ties in groups of 30.


DUBLIN, Ireland: Waiting for the Train

The train ride from Dublin to Killarney did not leave immediately upon

our arrival, so we left the station for a bit to eat and drink. We had to carry our baggage with us, as the lockers at Huston Station were full or broken, which, it seems, is a situation that technology can never Improve. The world IS far too computerized for any ones good.

We stopped at The Croppy Acres only because, while passing on our way along the shifty side of the street, the bartender inside hailed us in...friendly, we thought. The Croppy Acres was a free house named after the 1798 massacre and mass unmarked burial of Irish soldiers during a revolt. The field, at this moment closed for repair, had a football court and untended grass. The food that caught our eyes in the sign turned out to be meager: a cheese and tomato sandwich, toasted. Alas, we needed food without more luggage-struggling. My first draught of Irish ale this trip was Kil-kenny, and while we sipped, we started the first round of the cribbage match that was to travel to bars all over Ireland.

We saw very little of Dublin that day, except from the bus trip out of the airport and through the city, we hunkered back to Huston Station after our pints for more cribbage. This was the beginning of Sam's long winning streak, which failed him only twice our entire trip.

POETRY: I would rather in hell sit stubbornly

than waste away unoccupied in this

smoke-dusted intercity Rail Eirann car

But trouble long lasting now passing swiftly comes the siren;

harping out much jewel given many pans of brass

half-lifted to the ceiling, not fitting-falling to the ground

giving up all, no more.


Touched by a row of lights, like bullets echoing along the ceiling of the train. Iron is so important to trains, the buildings in which they live, and the people who pass through daily. How many jobs created by a railroad? How can this purchase of space movement and the pursuit of time and speed have any value?

The voices of a new setting place pervading me, and their stories colliding my unslept ears. The long orange streaks of work dashing the pages of time. Turning away an applesauce chance of sweet conversation to protect an already claimed marriage of unsociable means.

Upon arrival at Killarney, we called Cathy and Liz, our friends in Kenmare, to arrange travel to their hotel. Hitchhiking was the likely means, but they revealed that a ride, Willy, was picking us up in twenty minutes, right from the station. We played a spirited game of Frisbee in the parking lot between a big hotel an the train station. We only hit a few cars, and the cool air felt good after the cigarette-incriminated train-carriage.

A big Irish man in a small black car appeared. He was very tough looking, with black hair, mustache and dark eyes. He was rough spoken and low of voice. It was Willy! He turned on the tape as we drove away, asking what kind of music we like. I said folk music. Instanly, Irish banjos and ballad voices came over the stereo singing Rebel Irish Songs. I sang along when it suited me as we wound through the Black Valley's walls. They hadn't any light in their valley until this past decade, because it was so deep and hard to reach with electric lines.

Electricity not reaching Ireland sounded ludicrous.

Defying death, speed, and tire pressure, we careened much faster than a carnival ride. I watched the speedometer pole-vault mph's. I held on to the seat in front of me with one hand, and the seat behind me with another, but I knew I would die nonetheless if we went over the edge of the ever-present cliff. The paint-splattered sheep were mostly alive, but a dead one or two black-eyed the roadway every so often. Willy passed everyone, and not just passed , but tripled their speed, so that there was never anyone before or behind us: They flashed by( I must admit, it’s the best ride and view I've ever had.) Willy was very friendly, and later on will do us more favors.

KENMARE, County Kerry

That night upon arrival in Kenmare, Cathy and Liz gave us big hugs, some small bits of ‘nicked’ food from the kitchens, and fruit cups from the restaurant in the big yellow hotel. We left immediately for a pub. First to The Square Pint for live music, but it was too full to sit down, so we crossed the street over to a table in The Horseshoe.

Guinness was inescapable.

(My flight home is now nose lifting from London and escaping the gravity of earth. Now. Great takeoff. I'm in the middle section, far from the windows. But I'm along the aisle at least, so I'm not too claustrophobitten. I see the last hedgerows below. I've come to feel good about the way this land is shaped and surrounded. The sky, the puffy clouds, the green horizon. I'm going 320 mph and climbing. What a weird form to be in. Fast. 325 mph now.)

Back to Kenmare. The Horseshoe pub. Then Cupid's disco, at River'sdale Hotel. If we hadn't been at the disco we wouldn't have slept anyway, because the music could be heard from our room quite easily. We shared some jokes about Kenmare, the little games that our friends played daily, It was a good feeling to become a part of a greater whole.

In our three days in Kenmare to come, we went on long hikes, we slept late, we had a few fine vegetarian meals, accompanied once by a very poor wine that gave the others bad headaches. Usually just one of the women could be with us as a time, but some times it was the whole group. We sunbathed much. The suntan lotion I brought was salvation, and it felt wonderful to be prepared. Mostly, we spent our days walking back and forth from the hotel to Kenmare. It was a long way, and so thoughts of climbing over the bridge's humps festered. I never did dare it though, especially since we were told "you have to be drunk before you do it." Did not sound appealing to me with the high winds off sea.


Chris and his family came over in the morning to swim in our pool. We had been cleaning for Laurel to stay over the next few days, but after a bit we joined them in the cold pool water and splashed around until we were hungry enough for some hot dogs on our grill. Laurel showed up, my brother's family left to mow Rhonda's parents lawn, and Sarah and Mark came to pick us up around 14:00. We went to Moe park for a KickBall party, where you were required to have beer in your hand at all times during the game. We stayed there for 3 hours, and then went to Sara's barn christening and ate and drank and were merry until the wee hours of the night.