for Tony Gregory

In solidarity
with the clouds which took the bare look off the sky the day you died, you’ll never
die! Morning cargo on the wind that smelled of the sea; with the gulls that flocked
inland upriver, stravaging past Liberty Hall, raucous, raucous, raucous,
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with the moon, the wolf moon of January, a lamp in the early dark your last night on
this earth, Venus a diamond studded the night, Pluto in Capricorn, Death drew down
the fatal night; with all the planets and stars that lined up to light your path
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with the weather—who will forget the mildness of it, the last days bathed in all that
radiant light, midwinter sun hung in the southern skies, as if stopped still, the solstice
burning like a flame for you; with our own lovely star of morning, our seven stars on
a field of blue, ploughing a sea of blue, our scarlet banners high-streaked upriver,
tattered flags of sunset
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with the people bereft by your passing, bearing the ordinary weathers along with their
grief, with the passage of time your name will shine like a star in our private and our
public firmaments, banishing darkness; with time itself which brings us to our senses,
brings us to our knees, which teaches us humility and our own true natures
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with the foggy dew, the waxy’s dargle, the dicey reillys, the heart of the rowls, the
twangman, and the rocky road that led you down through the songlines of Dublin to
the river itself, the seagull raucous Liffey; its smell, its swell, its angelus bells ringing
o’er it, its crescent moon above and the whole world in a state of chassis
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with those who couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery, with the one who roared ‘up
the knocked down flats’; with those who were elected chair and sat there through
tedium and tension of meeting after meeting where the soul of the city was fought for
and even sometimes won and done on behalf of those who couldn’t organise the
proverbial
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with the children we have lost and who have yet to be born, Janus who names the
month of your death, looking both ways at once; walking backwards into the future,
remembering the future, staring clear-eyed at the past, intuiting the ancient lineaments
of the ancestors in the month of the wolf moon
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with your dreams now that we inherit them, wearing the year of your death like a
union badge, wreathed in your dreams of dignity and justice, like a mantle your
dreams for the city, for the people; with the people, always with the people
in solidarity.

In solidarity
with the hare. You were there for it. Elect it now your totem creature, loping through
the sky meadows over Dublin, away off into eternity; leaving the beloved streets, the
beloved faces, the beloved songs
in solidarity.