Sport 31: Spring 2003
Solitude, solace, consolation—
sun in its onlyness
shines on us here,
cups the heart in a deep blue bowl.
Courtyard radio. Swallows in pairs.
You'll have to let everything go
but it stays, and stays,
and is connected:
straight white line—no wind—a plane
flying, in the mind, towards the sun.
for Denis O'Connor
Thank you for aitche
—its itch, its ache—
thank you for shifting the posts
and lifting the ships
—Minerva, Clifton, Lancashire Witch—
their wakes, their lists of ghosts:
say Mayo, say Galway
or Dublin, say,
travelling from or travelling to,
the aitchless generations’
aching voices coming through,
their silent aspirations coming true.
The rivers teemed with
enormous freshwater shrimps
but that was Martinique
and I was thinking of Louisiana—
backroads strewn with sugar cane,
your swampboat cousin at Atchafalaya—
bless you. We'd both caught colds
from running in the rain across New Orleans.
Z'habitants, écrevisses, ouassous, crawfish—
whatever you call them, they're so good
we could push the boat out, every night
and every morning
sleep late, talk, turn the boat around,
head for another shore.