Sean Joyce



When struggling with
the tapestry of life,
I drilled the world
with question marks

My grandparents told me
fine upstanding things, but
most of these unraveled
by the seaside and the sea.

She said:
Listening to a seashell, you
can sometimes hear a seabird
sing the psalms of David

He said:
That’s all very well, but
not all that she remembers
has, so far, come to pass.
Does she still carry messages
tied up in her hair?

She said:
Pay him no attention,
his head is full of semolina.
And trust me, he didn’t get that stuff
in these here parts.

Well, he said, she would say that.
And what’s wrong
with semolina?
Much better than that tapioca
she’s preoccupied with

Down deep inside,
they gave me excellent directions.
But that still left unanswered
several messages and questions.



Sean Joyce grew up in Connemara in the far west of Ireland. He lived in London and in Spain before moving to New Zealand in 1975.

Joyce writes: “While I can’t recall a thing my grandparents told me I am constantly aware of their loving care.”