Living Like This
in Ireland’s West Country
The swans are gone from Coole Park,
the corncrakes from Shannon’s banks.
Gorse tumbles the hillside to the river’s edge,
but Yeats’s nation of believers no longer kneels or even prays.
Rain hides scars chafing under the damp, under the thorns.
Reflected sunset washes coral and sky-blue houses.
Broken slate, sagging thatch buckles under this need
to snag everything before it rushes past.
Music riddles the pubs in a fusion of Arabic, Indian, and French –
Johnny Cash with a twist, but Pour me another, Liam
ricochets the night. Rent is due, and the lights blink
out one by one by one, gorse gleaming in the dusk.
What’s left of the peat crumbles into incense,
an offering of sorts.