Jimmy Noctor

Irish Traditional Musician

Wednesday Evenings Cloontia

Lonely as dusk
Cars graze idle
all along the lane
making you brake to see
what the craic is

The lights are on in Noctors
and as you push the door open
it's swollen with bodies,
voices,glasses,"How you doings ?"
wading through to the bar,
"A couple of glasses Mary, please"
Conspiratorily she swaps me a smile,
saying softly "There's some music
and some dancin on in a while"

More folk pour inside
as if determined to surface
in The Guinness Book ofRecords
even the fire can't compete with
this body heat as the jars
slide down, Jimmy starts up
on the squeezebox, kneading life
into it's lungs, it revives and
flies through his fingers.
Dave bowls in with his bodhran,
giving an answer back

 

The crowd parts, Red Sea like,
to clear a space,
"Room please!"
for the dancers,
who suddenly reveal themselves.
Fast as castanets they heel and toe
across the floor and your man spins
a woman around by her arm,
Neither of them young things
but now they're 17 again,
being who they once were.

We're all clapping
in rhythm with their time,
urging them on, urging them on,
her cheeks flaming, sweat bursting his brow,
as breathlessly, they spiral
to some secret
other place

Later we walk out
into the cool long night
leaving the music behind
In the porter drenched sky
stars are scattered like salmon shoals

The silence drowns us.