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21 October 2014
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Geraldine Foley

Geraldine Foley is originally from Rathfriland in Co Down. In 1991 she gave up a street address for a life on the ocean wave and now lives on a sailing boat. She has sailed all over the world from Antarctica to Australia and the Caribbean islands to Cape Horn. She has previously written about her travels for yachting magazines.

To Blackhead Light by Geraldine Foley

Seagulls squabble and compete for the prize
of a used condom. Terns delicately pick edible
matter from the surface of the sea.
Human excrement
- yum yum - a tasty tea.

Children giggle and chase, dodging adults
on the path to the lighthouse. "Mind the dog
mess dear." Wildflowers clump in rocky clefts,
pink thrift and purple scabious, ugly names
for eye-catching blossoms. Sunshine sparks
ignite the sea and dazzle the eyes.

Clear down below the surface kelp fronds, like
mermaids' tresses, waltz to the current's rhythm;
anemones red and mauve splash the rocks. Through
a cave, dark echoing heart of ancient stone smelling
of moss and mould, cool and smooth to hot hands.
Onward; brightness beckons.

The hump back form of a concrete pipe breaks
the natural outline of the shore. Once clear water
is murky with malodorous, spreading sludge.
"Is something broken to cause such pollution?" asks
a tourist. "Ach, missus dear, that's normal here."

Seagulls squabble and compete for the prize.
The sun loses its lustre. The gray fulmar reflects
my mood and the dog shit on the path seems
a trifle.
- yum yum - a tasty tea.

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Short Stories
Hear Hear
To Blackhead Light

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