Dublin-India, Sept 11th 2001

The world’s burning. Without even looking
you can smell the change in the wind.
‘The world transformed’ and you
on the other side of it.

Tonight I pulled myself from the black-and-blue
coils of a nightmared bed and reached
inside myself for a little bit of hope.
I haven’t cried for hours.

We are all transformed, you and I
and the strangers in between. TV voices
shout outrage and fear at a nation’s lack
of iodine tablets. Nuclear and savage, we are unprepared.
Turn as we will, there’s no hiding from the world.

In consolation, if this was a few years ago I
would have drunk myself unconscious a week since.
If it was a few years ago I wouldn’t have met you.

Of course, I take a drink or two, with you so
far away, but I don’t want to hide.
Tonight I heaved myself from the clinging arms
of a cold damp bed and reached out,
with caution and a little strength,
to honour the happiness there is.