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.
[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.
Tityrus lounges in the shade, Bees lullaby the sleepy glade, The reed sings soft, soft as the grass— Then Meliboeus comes to pass, Sour Meliboeus and his goats, Their grumblings putting ends to oats. Thus always when one feels pastoral Comes some exile with his quarrel.
Chocolate All the chocolate in my father’s shop Melted that Irish heat-wave week into Small-scale magmatic floods the window Pelted with heat in unrelenting drop Drop by softening drop they unformed all Into ruination and my father pelted Windowless-wrappered bars into the small Shop fridge to be newly unmelted
Remains The ice desires to flow and be Water again (the cold remains); It’s frozen still, though almost in That shape it had when lately free
a swan skein breaks the water spanish arch cloudy corrib like the dog’s tail sweeping our legs paddle the air in idle arcs dangling from the edge above foam leaping foam spitting white at feathers’ dirty-white slipping like dream-thoughts back into the mass the cloudy corrib falling like the night toward the bay the ocean into gas gas rising sun-pulled into day and cloud cloud trembling gas into soft mists or hail once cloudy corrib whispering or loud speckling earth water feather leg and tail soaking and sinking in each upturned face restlessly resting in each passing place