Sir, At five o clock last Sunday morning I awoke and looked out to see the new day. The sun was shining and the clouds were a fiery red. 'Red sky in the morning sailor take warning' came into my mind. Ah well 'perhaps it is just an old folks' saying' I thought, but by 9am as my wife, Kathleen, and I were driving to Tralee it was already raining.
In spite of my hope that Tralee might be dry the rain stayed with us all the way. We arrived in good time for a poetry reading in the Garden of the Senses that was due to take place at 10am. Having purchased a newspaper we had a read to pass the time and the rain meanwhile got heavier. As it approached 10am I proceeded to the Standing Stones and the Chair of Cu Roi Mac Daire where the readings usually take place. One other brave soul was waiting. We discussed the weather and the likelihood of the event being cancelled. About five minutes later a half dozen more approached the spot. Tommy Frank O'Conner, Michael Gallagher, Kevin O'Sullivan and three others, including my wife Kathleen had arrived.
As we looked about for somewhere dry to set court I spied a large lime tree with a mighty leaf coverage and we proceeded there where it was wonderfully dry and remained so for our reading of an hour and a half. At no stage did our numbers exceed 13 but none came away disappointed. We would have had at least one more but for the untimely passing away of Tim W. Powell four months earlier. I am sure that a drop of rain would not have put him off either.
This was my third year attending this festival in Tralee Town Park and while I must say that I have enjoyed each event it would be nice if it received a little more by way of attendance. I realise that Sunday is a day of rest but surely an event such as this must be of interest to students who could get to hear what some of Kerry's published poets have to offer. You never know, some day they might even be famous and those who attended could tell their children that they once heard them recite in Tralee Town Park during the Feile Na Blath Festival.
And by the way, the saying 'Red Sky in the Morning, Sailor Take Warning' was indeed correct.