The Unnoticed Shadow

Steve Earle: Galway Girl

On 27th November 2018 I  reach the grand old age of 70. I know, I know “How can that be true, Jeff?” I hear you all cry but it is and it has taken a lot to get my head around it as well.

Rather than shrink away and gather dust in a corner, I thought I would do something different to celebrate the inevitable. My plan is to publish over the next 70  weeks, 70 poems. These poem will take as their inspiration 70 songs by 70 different artists or groups.Jeff north shields.jpg

I listen to and read a lot of poetry but I also love to listen to music and over the decades that music has been a back drop to my life and many of the lyrics and sounds have inspired me as much as poetry and literature. The blog is a celebration of those songs and artists.

My method of writing these poems is very simple, I take the track that I want to be the inspiration for the poem and I listen to it, taking notes all the time and then from those notes I write the poem.

The first poem of this series was inspired by Galway Girl by Steve Earle. I love Steve’s

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Steve Earle

songs and they also remind me of a good friend, Howard Richardson who passed away a few years ago. Howard was a great guitarist and singer and Steve Earle’s songs were a big part of his repertoire. There is more about Steve at steveearle.com

I was brought up a Catholic spending my Sunday Mornings at St Robert’s and Wednesday evenings at the Youth Club. The Catholic population of the West End of Newcastle was mainly of Irish extraction, as was my Grandmother, as a youth I yearned after the girls with their dark hair, ivory skin and blue eyes, an image that became imprinted on my young mind.

The Unnoticed Shadow

I ain’t seen nothin’ like a Galway Girl” Steve Earle

 

Sunday morning St Robert’s Catholic Church 1960

She is thirteen and I am twelve and I am in love

Complete, undiscovered and unrequited love

Her crown of twisted black curls, her steel blue eyes

Have seduced me, stolen my heart and taken the strength from my bones

A glimpse of her knee socks makes my knees knock

The click of her heels is symphony on the stone slabs

The choir’s hymn a hallelujah to her beauty

She is an Angel

She is my salvation

She is out of my league

I am invisible as dust

I ask you friends what’s a fellow to do

because her hair was black and her eyes were blue

 

Sunday Morning O’Connell Street 2000

The airport coach drops me off by the Old Post Office

I blink in the sullen sunlight of a Irish morning

There she is, waiting for me on a Dublin Street

She’s sitting on a bench on St Stephen’s Green

She’s serving my pint of Guinness in Slatery’s Bar

Her skin still pale as paper

Her dark blue eyes still drown me

I am seduced again, tumbling through time

The heady smell of incense mixed with her perfume

Light dancing through the stained glass windows

Fifty years ago I lost my heart to a Galway Girl

She is still out of my league

I am still an unnoticed shadow

I ask you friends what is a fellow to do

because her hair was black and her eyes were blue

©Jeff Price

One thought on “The Unnoticed Shadow

  1. Hi jeff here is poem inspired by your above tales ! Called Altar Boys
    God , how we fancied them , the altar boys. They had strange outfits and power and answered
    Only to the priest. Except , the little tubby one , Barry
    Used to carry my books home , him I could not bear.
    When people offer themselves like that it’s so degrading. What you are
    Offered freely , you despise.
    But tall Stephen, with the sister at the posh school,
    Who ignores you , and wears snazzy shirts and Cuban heels ..you desire.
    For him you curl your hair on saint’s days and learn the names of the
    Stations off the cross. For him you wear
    Blue eyeshadow and scarlet o her a lipstick. You see him on Saturday in town
    You follow him and loiter over a coffee
    You jostle him in Woolworths and finally he looks at you, through you
    And into the face of Nigel the other altar boy. They link arms
    And you realise you may not be Stephens first choice , not even on Saturday
    Which everybody knows is the fuck the world i want to get off day.
    This is God’s idea of a joke you realise.
    And thirty years later ..i still ain’t laughing.

    Like

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