Wade Down Water

Wade Down Water
Wade down water
night’s eyes fat with light
slow boat rolls easy,
slides down sleep
night’s eyes fat with light
beneath flotsam, the flashing fish
slow boat rolls easy,
slides down sleep
night’s cargo carried home
beneath flotsam, the flashing fish
holds the flat eye’s gaze
night’s cargo carries home, a wish
to travel down there, heart’s blood heavy,
hold the flat eye’s gaze
the river runs, heart’s blood heavy,
people from my life wander by
out of reach
swim home far off ships
Way down deep

Toward Skellig Michael

Toward Skellig Michael
Twelve miles of open sea slammed hard
by our boat’s hammer prow,
thrusting spray
and sheets of flying foam
as from a horse over galloped.

Pub in the Burren

Pub in the Burren
The peat fire’s light casts shadow
on sorrow. The weary rinse ran red
in eyes that bled a soft and sorry hurt
that words bleeding freely return
to burn a honey glow around this tired old man.
Old men spill the hours one pint at a time.
An old jacket of fine but threadbare weave
a home to heaving sighs, enthroned
on his lonely stool, a heavy old unmurdered Christ
whose price of survival survives as soft hand
wringing pain, each swollen knuckle a bead
to be counted one pint at a time.
Birds play in a branch’s brittle grip
thoughts trip lightly enough in a mind
blinded by the airy light of memory sweetly
feeding sorrow, love aching for a place
of peace, a pair of long lost eyes
that are searched for one pint at a time.
He smiles, a honey soft smile that swells
his still gaze as she’ll lift from her cedar chest
a dress of fine light saturated fiber
held high against a window long shattered
that matters to no one but him
who recalls her one pint at a time.
This man’s heart floats as a fat bee
knee deep in the gold pollen of her honey
sung heart and the light from back then.
When light and where light weaves
its ever soaking edge on dreams
to be savored one pint at a time.
The hard time of work’s heavy hours
devours our soft edge and seals a deep
keep of dreams, memories and desires
a soft fire in the lonely minutes of a cold
old age. As a flooded town’s well
is a hole, so love to the young floods
the banks
woven where dreams edge in on soft time
under the shadows where it gathers
            eyes grip at light's traction.

Irish Manor

Irish Manor  
Their backs scorched in morning light, a flock
            of white birds moved on the distance. I never
felt more surrounded by vast distances, as bird
            by sky rowing bird, and minute by time eating
minute, the bushy head of a far off oak filled,
            already delirious with wind, filled with clattering
birds. Life or spirit? You said life to make it all seem
            a mere part of nature’s scientific method. The spirit
resides above and I said, a tree’s spirit must grip knuckle-deep
            in the soil to span its wide grip of sky,
that only fails in the passing music of wind. The uncaught wind
            moves across the landscape, the shuddering
on day’s soft belly of land, on fields in the distance
            where cattle graze. In Ireland they know, it’s what fails
that sings. It’s the captured things, the mute things, that fold away
            neatly into boxes. Beauty, the vehicle on the long road
through history, flames in the past and sparkles
            on the future. The oak’s failure to root in its tantalizing
sky rattles day in its sun-drenched salad of a crown.
            The manor house was a gift from Cromwell
to a senior officer. It’s a pretty thing, a Georgian jewel, that expresses
            the tar-covered dead of Droghada who were hung from trees
or hoisted on roadside spikes as tear drops of Waterford glass
            tinkling in a chandelier. Wind through the branches, light
through glass and through my hand as morning’s bright shoulder
            broke shadow, slicing the dark’s warm cover.