On the first day of June, 2012, my wife and I attended the Listowel Writers’ Week, which this year opens on the same date. We attended a reading by poet Paul Durcan at the Listowel Arms Hotel, the lovely River Feale shimmered outside the ballroom window, just beyond where the poet sat at a small platform.
A highlight of the performance was his reading of “On the First Day of June.”
I was walking behind Junior Daly’s coffin
Up a narrow winding terraced street
In Cork city in the rain on the first day of June …
… Outside in the streets and the meadows
In Cork and Kerry
On the first day of June on the island of Ireland
Through the black rain the sun shown.
Four years later, it remains one of my favorite moments in Ireland.