Tuesday, July 17, 2007

summertime and the living


The night is July, the aura is rain.
The bay is always at low tide.
Green slime covers the sand
Where herons stop, look and listen.
The sand is as thin as clay.

Men in the night
Leave their caravans and run
Across black grass
To the River Argideen
To claim a position for fishing
Like waiting at baggage claim.

The people in the temperance hall
Hold a dance that most of them watch
From their chairs bitterly.
They can see their shoes are history.

The world was remade before they died.

The herons on the Lee
Are slick with slime, fermenting.
Lots of money is exchanged
In the medieval town.
Beer is fomented in silver silos
And no fish swim. One day down
Carpe diem.
No one knows what's coming.

The nuclear weapons programs continue.
A boy in a trap drawn by an elegant horse
Trots through Clonakilty.
Men watch and women shop.
Organic food planted in the middle
Of gourmet olives and jellies.
Thanks and help
Are prayer words in fair trade and churches.

Just go in and have a drink at dark.
It's a kind of Sabbath.
In a public house you feel safe with the others.

By now you know the black river has fish
And flowers on it white and shaped
Like strawberry plants.
Two neon kingfishers speed by blue.

Everyone is there for everyone else's fun.
Those men in the night aren't so bad.

A body: this is what it feels
And this is what it feels like.

Sites of massacre and ashes, tin-topped rubble,
Porcelain ovens, jails, a waiting hospital.

Not when it's eternal low tide in a place outside
And birds drain the sand with their appetites.

Fanny Howe

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