Here he comes
mute white warrior
gliding down the Slaney exalted
black eyes sunk dudgeonly deep
thinking how necessary it is
to keep up an angle
after blood-letting, that
what has been ravaged
is not becalmed by clement
show, no more than the gouged
grey lamb left bobbing
and wheeling in his wake
takes comfort from late July water
-warmth or the butter-mash sheen
of a south Wexford sun.

Here where it bends the river
gives no hint of shady tribuataries
to come, just Killurin bridge
and the brooding of pampas
grass as it remembers old shimmers
and sways.

Way to go Mister Swanny-wan
cries the boy on the bank (here for
the month from Maine of all
places) excitable, unsuspecting
– sees mountains as gourds
the sky a hollowed-out whale – he
skips to the water’s edge, flings a fistful
of grass in the white warrior’s path

onlookers holding their breath

and in a pub high up in Enniscorthy
a farmer from Bree, black coat
cavendish scent, scratches
his lottery card fiercely
dreaming of new machines
outhouse roof repairs
Wexford racecourse on a day
like this, scent of strawberries
and horsegirls, townie women
moving in on him
with plumage.