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NEW POEMS 150 NEW POEMS PETER FALLON STORM AT SEA Winds ruffle the grey hairs of the waves. They go against the grain of fields shut off for silage. Gulls plant themselves inland in the grazing. They flourish when a tractor passes or an edgy collie grumbles. They say kissing’s out of season when the flower’s gone from the gorse. Though this’d shear the leaves off ivy the headland’s sanctified by petals. Can this be happening to happy people? I think of all I should have told you as I dream into a summer fire. And my eyes are hands: they hold you. NEW POEMS 151 THE BANDON ROAD: SIGHT OF IT You cross a torrent and the road swings right, and suddenly you catch sight of it, where the light between the woods’ improvident shadow and shade contracts; and it’s beautiful, a rich stretch of pasture, pitched against the pitch blackness of the ditch while, on every blade of grass, it re-enacts Spring. Because we often blunder through the world we stumble on our proper lives. I’d just come back to you and in that delirium dawned on this array of wonder. You could search for it all day and night or adventitiously receive it with the shiver you’ll mark forever, that sliver of good life lighting across the river, over the bridge, where the road swings right. NEW POEMS 152 A HALF-HUNDRED He was all head and no stout. A bad egg, and no mistake. A dead loss. He couldn’t stir his stirabout. He’d be blowing at the ember of a deed done long ago. He’d get up when it was time for bed. He’d start shearing in September. He’d pull in outside the Co-op to pass away an hour the minute you’d a halfhundred on your shoulder. Live horse, he’d say, and you’ll get grass. When the sergeant called about the ragwort he’d the feet up on a sunny day. Would it do next week or maybe, for certain, the next one after? Devil the harm or hurt it’s doing a soul . . . When the clutch was just about to go he’d manage to lend a loan of the car, or a shovel when the shaft was cracked. He’d start a fight but not fall out. If he owed you money, you’d hear, It ill-behooves the likes of me to carry such as cash. He’d drive around the rim of your hat. The borrowed horse, he’d say, needs hard hooves. ...


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pp. 150-152
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