Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Poem for Saturday

Turlock, California

We photographed the puddles
mocked the downpour
California teeming our first day there.

Sidewalk and intersection flooded
back yard turloughed,
barbecue adrift in the short-lived lake.

Next day, west coast sunshine,
rainless for the rest of the vacation,
sightseeing, we endured mall to mall perspiration.

A Mayo-man, remembering
sodden Irish winters,
baptised this city in the irrigated valley.

Was he mocking his source,
water-speckled western fields,
endemic dampness to the bone?

Or was it homesickness
for the squelch beneath his heels,
drizzle on his face, freshening skin and soil and soul?

This poem, which was published in Crannóg Summer 2006, was written as a result of a holiday in the town of Turlock, California Easter 2005. The day after we arrived it poured rain which was not what we expected from California. The rain was short lived and for the rest of the holiday we enjoyed very fine hot weather.

Turlock was founded in 1871 by Mayoman, John William Mitchell, who chose the name after Turlough in Mayo. Turlough refers to a seasonal lake.

Information about turloughs at Wikipedia and at ENFO.

Information about Turlock, CA here

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