Issue 168, Winter 2003
He labored above the impassable coast
where gulls hovered to their nests on rock,
shy youth worrying his dream-drenched songs.
He wandered below the Ben of Howth,
his self-conscious cloak flapping in a wind
that lifted the bracken’s leathery fronds
in twilight descending on Ireland’s Eye
and the gaslit city he would come to hate
near sixty years on, its “paudeen” streets
a pastiche of his filthy modern tide,
hum of streetlamps’ pale, redundant moons
drowning the ghost-lit music of the spheres
where he stood alone on O’Connell Bridge.