Enniscorthy library upstairs… 6 vii 2022

The desk, a table, in the room, is adequate. My knee sides against a leg. The chair, fabric covered, supports my ample weight.

A portrait of Colm Tobin surveys the room, Anthology … the third book down in the slush pile of a writer’s desk. A water bottle would rehydrate a dry throat. The desks here are to be left clear. No unattended belongings whatsoever. David Daly has a ’Reed bunting at Rosslare’ portrait too. I met him at the pumphouse in The Slobs at an exhibition or something, when I was charged with the Wexford Natural Heritage Areas boundary in the county. That brings me back to 1993 or thereabouts, before my writerly ambitions coalesced through the Caribbean Literary Salon days of 2012. Now that I write, I feel much better, life imitates art and one has to forge one’s future word by word.

The barcode of the book on the display was 597298555474111 on the second time round, not that I had read the number fully on the first occasion. What book did the librarian choose, not Irish. Was it ‘shore fauna and flotsam for beachcombers’?

The fire station, next door, has a block tower of red painted doors, never opened, but I would be happy to stand corrected. A lime tree Tilia, one Cedrus atlantica glauca and a dead hulk, Eucalyptus-like, with a nest of ferns, 8m up, Polypodium interjectum is at deep mid-wicket, as I set off from the Hadrian’s Wall end, west of Vinegar Hill, with Saint Sennan’s behind the Slaney bank rocks, below the second ‘new’ Slaney bridge. Setting a tale in Enniscorthy is an honour of the librarians. It is an airy room, with traffic sounds and wind-blown tree crowns flapping in the breeze, leaves flapping restrained in simple harmonic motions, branch sways, of Beaufort five and steady. A collared dove flaps and flies in the lime tree crown, not a reference to the forces, of Vinegar Hill, two-and-a-bit centuries back when we all hoped for mental freedom…

A Rook wipes its beak on the Eucalyptus branch, for want of a more secure tree identification. The rookery calls in the breezes are heard above the traffic noises. They do like their horns in Enniscorthy, not as much as the Neapolitans of Pompeii with their Pizza ovens, Fiat Bambinoes, and Fiat Merafioiris. I need to get comfortable, not to leave bags unattended, so I pack up and get ready to explore downstairs. What I will find remains to be seen. The book trolley in the corner has a book: Slavery, while a child’s voice outside is enthused by being near the Fire Station, the Pompiers of Enniscorthy, Fire engines to me and to you. I must arise and go now to the window to see, if Saint Sennan’s is visible from this space. Not really… but this is: Better World Books Weeding Procedure – June 2021. Change on Sierra, if discarding. In Sierra, change the status to w (withdrawn). Click on supress: yes.

I find cookbooks on the south wall, the novels section with newspapers in a eastern room, a toilet my reason to go downstairs. Afterwards I leave and head off and go to watch a heron wading in the river, from somewhere else, inside. A caddis fly with long curved antennae perched on the hotel promenade window. The caddis was outside. It was not far away. It was silhouetted by a cloudy sky, 8 okta, not a blue azure drop in sight.

Howard FOX

Edited – 22/23 xi 2022

One thought on “Enniscorthy library upstairs… 6 vii 2022

  1. A discussion with Barry the Librarian in Clones has clarified matters. Librarians have moved on from Sierra. If one was anxious to keep a book in the library and restrict its wanderlust to go walkabout, then suppression was possible. Whether one would want to do this, maybe for a local special collection and a rare book, then perhaps… the weeding procedure like all good gardening, leaves a little less than what a wilderness of Epilobium might sow.

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