It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Pat Ingoldsby, one of my favourite Irish poets.
Pat is a familiar sight out and about in Dublin, where he sells his self-published poetry books direct to the general public. At the same time, he has his senses cocked, picking up on the flavour of the city and its people, which coupled with his quirky outlook on life, produces poetry in a myriad of form, content and emotion.
Pat would be familiar to generations of Irish people, having had, in his time, worked on children’s tv (Pat’s Chat), written for the (now defunct) Evening Press, written plays and published various books of poetry and prose.
Amongst Pat’s work, are some poems that sit very well on this website. I had the pleasure of meeting Pat recently and he very kindly gave me permission to reproduce a sample of his work here.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
The whistle’s bewitched
In the park before the game starts
all the men run around elegantly
with deliberate exaggerated style
kicking, passing, posing, stretching,
the way professionals do.
Then the referee blows his whistle
and changes them all into
© Pat Ingoldsby
I love the way you laughed.
Good deep and hearty mirth
far down inside you.
I loved the special feeling
when you asked me
to fetch something from your pocket
– the faint smell of tobacco
– the rubber feel of your pouch
– the cold of your keys and coins
– the shivers when I touched your hanky.
I loved the way you put soccer into my heart
the way it was in yours
– kicking a little ball with me in the back yard
– heading a balloon in the hall
– push ha’penny on the table
– Subutteo on the floor
– standing beside me in Dalymount
cracking Cadbury’s in half
– feeling my heart break when Dayo ran rings
around you out the back and suddenly I knew
that you couldn’t really play at all.
I loved the way we sat near the fire.
I loved the sound of you downstairs
when I was small in bed.
I loved the angle of your finger sticking out
the crazy way you held your cup.
I loved the sizzle when your tobacco spit hit the hearth.
I loved the sounds of you down the garden
metal whanging earth and stones
breaking up the clay.
I loved the way your mother had seen Uachtarán na h-Eireann *
putting out his bin.
I loved the way you always put us first.
I miss you terribly.
I really do.
© Pat Ingoldsby
* President of Ireland
Both poems taken from Pat’s latest book, ‘Beautiful Cracked Eyes’
Also, to sum up Pat’s philosophy on his poetry, I’ve reproduced this from one of his jacket covers :
love my poems, hate them, have fun with them
enjoy them, laugh with them, cry with them
put them on toast and eat them, do lots and lots
of sparkly things with them and they will dance
study them and the life will go out of them
PS I’m sure Pat wouldn’t like me to sign off without mentioning his best friends and co-directors : Willow and Hoot.