It must be said that revenants, banshees and visions,
Were coevals of and coincident with the Provisionals,
At work in the countryside on impossibly dark roads,
Steppers-out of the hedges, lights on the long acre,
At the Old Course Road and the Lighthouse itself,
Where the sea had been pitching up, for a century,
Mostly anonymous but surprised Mancunians,
Liverpudlians, the odd Parisian ballerina,
Rolled in on the sea-bed, bludgeoned by the rocks;
Difficult remains. Blown flesh and Bruges lace.
To which roster of damage the untimely bombs
Going off at the Racecourse or at Castle Ward
While carried over a stile or set under a grandstand,
Added their small population of grotesques;
Of which rumours abound in the ensuing decades:
Encounters by anglers returning with their catch,
Thoroughbreds refusing at the third from home,
Whispers in the ditches, dogs barking, sightings.
And out on the Ballydugan Road, near the culvert
High explosive refashioned to Mons or a moonscape,
At what looks like a Land Rover, loose talk of figures
Waving cars down. In the accidental mundane,
The miraculous occurs, going mostly unnoticed.
That’s the ordinary whistling to itself in the darkness.
The landscape, on our behalf, saying its prayers.