“Carrowniskey’s Elvis”

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April 3, 2014 by John Buckley

A moment of passive entertainment while traveling on tracks, brought me to a place of nostalgia and flashbacks.

“That’s Carrowniskey Elvis” was my refrain as we hurtled along the sleepers propping up the train.

My skin instantly felt salty, while my neck strained for tractors on the bothrin that led to feet being placed on the board’s deck.

Westport was where I then resided, and poetic justice has brought me back on that route as my two worlds collided.

Sure it was the wild west, where I had thought I was bringing my wild head to rest.

But the naivety and blinkers of illness meant that I had hidden and succumbed to the distress.


The inner hipster liked exploring, Louisburgh, Achill, Mamturks, my soul would hike while mind was imploring.

I remember that spin out past old head, off to Carrownisky, the body was going, but I was unsure if the soul was with me.

Rabbits, potholes and ditches inhabited the lane that would eventually lead to the healing stitches.

Around the corner with the collie, followed by the boom, your senses are filled with something that they can barely consume.


The rock, Clare Island, stands majestic as the sun bows down to Queen Meadhbh’s resting place, her relic.

The gush and hush of Elvis’s sets greet your ears, ripping at the sand, inviting you in to join its valiant stand.

You don’t see him at first; just the weather battered Mercedes Van, that stands firm not matter how much it’s burst.


First the smile, then the eyes, of someone who has lived with the world not on it, as if in some kind of guise

He knows each grain of sand on Carrowniskey strand, you can tell from how he stands, with his patent leather hands.

No matter the form, remembering that my soul was torn, he brings you into being with the world, reborn.


While I sit on this train I don’t remember any of the exact words, I just remember the facial features, they were one of my life’s greatest teachers.

Skin a brown only the sun of Mayo would know how to tint, with a glow, specked with life’s trails, in his eyes that would glint.

I remember the hours, waves and sets, I recall the tall and fall of Mweelrea, and the call of Elvis, or was it the sea?

Again not words, but themes, sea, family, all with a grin, a real one, no spin.


I’m sat in the office now, but with my head fuzzy from the surf, and probably the mental journey back, turning the old turf.

To Carrowniskey’s Elvis I wanted to send a note, something grounded, simple, straightforward and so this I’ll float;

“You helped me see, and be, the person I never knew was me”.

Elvis surfing down Carrowniskey way

Elvis surfing down Carrowniskey way


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