The sun turns its attention on them in the morning.
You watch from Killiney Hill’s leafy altitude -
Reefs crouching in their grassless splendour.
Nothing rests beyond them
Except the waves’ limpid collision, and Dalkey
Island, becalmed like a green leviathan.
The final landmark for Irish reprobates:
A portly Martello, east-facing stonework,
Breakwater, a goshawk in angry flight, swivel guns,
The Irish Sea baring itself to your sight.
Yachts frolic on the water in frilled regatta.
Nature’s masonry -
Bone and hemp, rag and iron collar, grab your eye,
A dank dissuasion. The immeasurable sea
Does not care for maritime laws
to be set in stone or coral.
Neither wind nor sun touches your hair.
You know by now that all storms
Have their own colour: russet forest fire,
Swarthy torrents, cyclones caught in brunette
Seizure. A mutineer has no colour, though;
Just his gibbet‘s rusty steel, leaden
As an anchor, bones buffed with tar, a freshwater
Drum roll drilling his ear, breezes stirring
His slack feet to dance a sly hornpipe.
The crows’ hungry glee flaps through the dark.
Dusk kisses the tidal face. Sandbanks hide their spite.
The moon is a crooked beacon, the seaweed a snare.
Hard-nosed trawlers cruise the inlet,
The rope’s tightened groan tilts over the surface.
From the pier, men cast lines for codling and dogfish.
Skeleton of Hibernia, sleep now in the sea that
Won’t remember you. No life-raft or seiner
Shall berth in you. The cove is perfect for
Salting away our swag, our shameful plunder.
Whose laughter bleeds the shoal?
What unfound element longs to join fire, soil,
Wind, the sea itself, in their undying vandalism?