after Seán McSweeney


The bell has struck;
the light has come. I am one
with earth, wind, fire and water.
Yellow bogland flowers meet the sun
looking over my shoulder: many
of one.

In tall grasses beside the river
the sister’s spirit hides in a red-black dress
beneath tall red flowers.
She is a small teepee of fire.
This is her garden. Petals
lie like blood on the dark earth.
River holds light beneath its surface
like a blue sun at the edge of the world.
Nothing dims. Facing this,
time has no alarm to sound.
Church bells ring
as they do in childhood,
imagining music
you are about to sing.


It’s the light we have in common
drawing us back
soul through the eye as
for the first time,
not leaving us alone
before thought.
Connected before history
on the white road to the sea.
My best days are like that,
casting light about
breathing in
breathing out
watching the glow in fields, faces,
adding energy to the road as I go,
the road white with energy
of all the others
invisible to the sea.

Sometimes, instead of sea
there is only white space visible along the shore,
with perhaps a dwelling at the very edge
where a poet might live,
carving white into gold.


It’s the earth that’s moving, kaleidoscope
of yellow and green electricity
pulsing underfoot. I’m surfing
before blue backdrop,
for this moment, still
as the yellow flowers, fearless
above certain death,
not scared of the sea.

I’m sure there are two of us here
at lit windows in the poet’s house.
Look, we’ve been gathering light.
Light from clouds. Light from the sea.
Light from fields; from a mountain stream.
Light from the headlands,
even light from the night.
Everywhere we’ve walked
shows a snail-thread of white.
Along the cliff trail
to crazy-patterned pacing in the back field,
an energy of white light
gathering into lines above our heads
under stationary blue smoke.