Dun Laoighaire – an Irish Affair

The gentle motion of the ferry
Could rock me to sleep
If just the sea outside
Was not so grey
Was not so smooth
Oh, was not so silken
Silken like the Liffey
Stroked by the rain
Silken
Like your eyes.

The gentle touch of oblivion
Could kiss me to sleep
If just your hands
Had not been so tender
Your limbs
So slender
You
So Celtic
And delicate like the carvings
On the Newgrange stones.

Oh my God, what did I do to myself
Trying to seize the magic of the Boyne?
My heart is gone with the river,
But free and elusive is the spirit of water,
Ruthless and unpredictable,
Unbound like Manannan Mac Lir.

Eyes as grey as the silver sea –
Pitiless in its attraction;
Eyes as grey as the Skellig Isles –
Enigmatic and inaccessible;
As soft as the rain – ephemeral:
Every trace will be gone even if
The ferry should one day return.

My mistake
That I entered the Otherworld;
My mistake
That I do not want to leave it;
You did not break my heart –
I did it myself.

1993

A/N: For those not so versed in Irish geography and legend: Dun Laoighaire is the name of the ferry port near Dublin. Where we had to say goodbye …; Liffey: the river running through Dublin; Newgrange: an ancient Celtic tumulus renowned among other reasons for the beautiful spirals carved into its stones; Boyne: the river running through the Boyne valley, where he came from …; Manannan Mac Lir: the sea god of ancient Celtic mythology. It would lead too far to try and explain the concept of the Celtic Otherworld here, or the many legends connected with it.