[And with a pseudo-georgic flourish I sound my last post on this blog! And my first in quite a while… Think of it as a postscript of sorts to all the other posts, if you like. Thank you to my followers, likers, commenters, browsers—all my visitors. Anyone looking for answers can simply consult the good book—Virgil’s Georgics. (Chapter and verse for the browsers: Bk IV, ll. 559–566.) Ave atque vale!]
—Thus I sang the fields of change, the flocks of self, While Tsar Trump thundered war across a continent, Offering walls to willing men, treading the way To white Olympus. I, Daniel, nursed by soft Hibernia, Pursued the peaceful paths of poetry, scribbling While Rome burned with rabid lust for better things And worse. Now you, patiently listening, won’t you sing The deep, besieging shade of your own being?
Oh there’ll be no forty maidens, Cloud-clad angels, sainted bliss: All your Luthers and Bin Ladens Are just food for worms—or fish; So relax my anxious faithful And pursue some truer myth: “Afterlife”—the thought’s a tangle! Life always comes before death.
Nothing happens. Ireland’s
(Her weather still) peaceful.
But times across the waves
The wind comes, the rain comes,
And no rainbow’s yet made
To promise charm even
In chaos. Just chaos,
And its wake is nothing
Again, broken light un-
Broken into clearness.
Covenants make nothing
Happen—and if there were
Only gods to geld us
Into belief? But as
The Irish weather, so.
We will stay changeable.
Dawn Night like a sheet lifting, In thin light we lie still, Beasts resting on in this Golden fog of first day; Warm arms soon vine, sifting Slack flesh for the supple, Sudden pleasure, each wish Fulfilled before it’s made
Written in Rain Like children’s footsteps, pit-pat on the pane. Does this rain touch your skin that I cannot? Cloudy eyes, storm-swaddled planets, Search the blackwetblurred reflection— Visages come. Yes, but not the sought one.
[My first blog post, back in 2009, was a far different version of the poem below. I removed it from the site when I started blogging again in 2013, and had no plans to revisit it. But for some reason, more than six years after I first wrote it, I have started writing it again—and have made it much shorter if not much else. So, gentle poem, welcome back to the internet. (And great Achilles will be sent once more to Troy!)]
The deepest past’s mere meters down, a lot of dust no doubt to those who made it, but even ground this trodden—boots, bare soles— is air to a bomb. A wall that rose, and was buried in time,
rises again, its surface glass- like rock, blue as movie-star-eyes. The weathered ones whose hands glossed the standing stone, like skies over Ur long watched for sterile signs of things to pass, have passed.
Colours, populous in nature, do not penetrate the iris, but glass can well invade her eyes, two dirt-red pebbles smoothed by salt water. Something happens with life, some stray contour
around the side of natural beauty shakes its skin and crumbles into want. A thimbleful of chancing chemicals falls in a careful mess, carelessness diluting the dead-still,
slow-dying purity of rock. The girl picks lapis lazuli from her eyes. Fired up and dropped, the shrapnel of history shattered her sight. Stop. Do not worry. Even walls cannot last.