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DÁNTA ÚRA: NEW POEMS SEÁN LYSAGHT FOR JESSICA The plastic basin hitched on your hip, your arm falling outside, holding it as you came down the garden, was the tub you carried into the leasowes. The wet damask had darkened, but would dry to that bright, heavy fabric you shook from the chest of drawers and tautened, testing the winter. As you go striding with that weight across the water-meadows, I glimpse your hem flailing the seed-heads, and catching the goose-grass you’ll pluck later from your skirts at the fireside where this new world takes hold. The glow of a single spill is carried in a cupped hand to the kindling. Our home is growing with gusset, pink fir-apple, coriander, and russets from the shires, those love-flowers standing in late-summer callows that seeded first, and have spread from beyond the sportsfield in your village, the leasowes, where clover and vetchling sprawled across your childhood path. DÁNTA ÚRA: NEW POEMS 68 THE NAME from tagon Small offal was bundled off, prayers were said for the virgin lost, and the child, cleared of the smear of his origins, was dressed and presented. The flesh became the word Tagon. He grew through the body, the body knew the name, and ran at the word, to teatimes, out of all danger. The hair is now shorn which registered the breezes of Corca Dhuibhne. But these were the hands that reached into the nests at Mellary, to count the warm clutches. These, the legs of the light winger, AMDG, in the murk of a November afternoon . Later, he crouched in the lavatory, then rose to the pins of spray and travelled his own extent with a flannel. At chess, or reading the crime of Raskolnikov, the members rested. ❧ THE GAZEBO AT LOUGH KEY Beyond the tufted lichen of the alders, with lake-water washing its base, the folly still stands today. built solid as a rook in chess. The taste that framed the rampart wall was erudite Victorian, but is outlived this afternoon by a restored gazebo in Roscommon. There’s no Excalibur here, no sudden hand out of breezy waters, no votive chalices cast, no king grounding a love-sick daughter. DÁNTA ÚRA: NEW POEMS 69 It’s simply a water-studio on the scudded, unreflecting face choosing water as its subject and itself as the appointed place. In the shadow of these windows the water-colorist could paint on a dry sketch-pad, with a brush immune to its own element. And who could tell the result as what waver of liquid force, what dash of white spray caught in the tincture of the source? Still, it’s measured on the instant of the naked eye that sees spreading waves and grazings across the shifting surfaces. In other words, probing the flood, you find an otter turning at depth on a heart of mammal blood, and a warm, suspended breath. DÁNTA ÚRA: NEW POEMS 70 TAGON’S STUDIES from tagon Clearing out a hold-call lent by Melusine, Tagon found a date seed in a side pocket. It grew slowly, but sure after planting, in his vigilant care, in memory of the grove of pain, and took on its own beauty, even, in its innocence Others were to follow into his room: an umbrella plant, papyrus, maidenhair fern. He collected and dried others from the quarries and quagmires in the vicinity. Had he not reason, given the herbarium, to lament the ghastly victims on the shore of the Styx, where journalists and profiteers were strengthening the wrong? But when the Princess made it to his room and broached its green spirit, he spared her this, and stuck to plant names by way of introduction. ❧ PHASES OF THE FLAP-MAN I The gruff farmer calls up the children, the meek ones leaping through a meadow of flowers whose names are unknown, and at his bidding they disentangle from weeds what lies fallen at the back of an outhouse, or win things from the ash-heap: jam-crocks, porter-bottles, a step-ladder with missing rungs, kettle-hooks, old cauldrons. Then they leg...


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