Brian Meenagh

My father died twenty three years ago, at around one on the fifteenth of July. He was thirty nine. He was on a golf course, with my brother. I have spent the day teaching in Merton, and at various champagne receptions and high table. Beneath a tree in the gardens, near the wall, I smoked a cigar--an honduran negra--and twirled some bourbon around a glass, thinking of a day which I remember as yesterday, and of a man who died, under a name assumed in Northern Ireland, on the hottest day of a summer long ago.

Not a day passes when I fail to think of him, nor one where I fail to pray for him. This evening, on a path Duns Scotus may have trod, I poured a little Jack Daniels onto the gravel, thinking of Yeats' poem of Christ Church ghosts;

Midnight has come, and the great Christ Church Bell
And many a lesser bell sound through the room;
And it is All Souls’ Night,
And two long glasses brimmed with muscatel
Bubble upon the table. A ghost may come;
For it is a ghost’s right,
His element is so fine
Being sharpened by his death,
To drink from the wine-breath
While our gross palates drink from the whole wine.

May my father rest in peace.


Mary said…
The man died far too young but I'm quite sure he would be very proud of his son.

Sorry I haven't commented in a while but I don't trust myself not to write gibberish. I've still been reading, as I'm sure you know.
Martin said…
A very touching post, Martin. My thoughts are with you on this anniversary.

I envy you being in Oxford. We lived there for a time, and would love to return, though my academic roots are in the Other Place.

Keep well (not too many cigars or too much Jack Daniels, now).
bob said…
What a lovely post Martin.
Martin Meenagh said…
Many thanks, m'friends. Hope that you are all well!
Martin Meenagh said…
Oh, by the way, Mary--welcome back! I hope all is well

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