I ran across some old picture files from a trip I took to England and Ireland back in 2003. One of the highlight of that trip was visiting Blarney Castle. It is the first medieval castle that I ever visited and it was fascinating to me. I remember climbing the stone spiral stairs and feeling a bit claustrophobic in the tight space. Most of the castle was in need of major repair, but it did give me a good idea of the living conditions in such a small stone keep.
Of course I could not visit Blarney Castle without kissing the Blarney Stone. Well, I kissed what the attendants at the castle said was the Blarney Stone. Irish legend says that a person who kisses the Blarney Stone receives the gift of gab. Being a writer, I figured it couldn’t hurt.
Hanging upside-down wasn’t exciting, but the experience did inspire me to write my Invocation to the Blarney Stone:
If it were that with just one kiss,
I could be transformed by your cold gray lips.
Words come slow to one such as I,
but with your eloquence my verse could fly.
If I came to you, my soul laid bare,
would you be moved enough to share,
your gift of gab with a supplicant true,
So that I could become as famous as you?
I don’t think it worked. Maybe I should have bought it a drink first.