in memory of Rory Kavanagh
Now that the rest of us have no weeping left
These things will do it for you:
Willows standing out on Leitrim Moss,
Wounds that "wept" in the talk of those before you,
Rained-on statues from Clonmany to Ahascragh,
Condensation on the big windows
And walls of a school corridor in Derry
Where I drew with warm fingers once upon a time
To make a face that wept itself away
Down cold black glass.
Compose yourself again. And listen to me.
You were never up here in my attic study
Beyond the landing, up the second stairwell,
Step-ladder steep, and deep, and leading back
Down to life going on.
Even so, appear
Till I tell you my good dream.
Be at the door
I opened in the sleepwall when a green
Hurl of flood overwhelmed me and poured out
Lithe seaweed and a tulmult of immense
Green cabbage roses into the downstairs.
No feeling of drowning panicked me, no let-up
In the attic downpour happened, no
Fullness could ever equal it, so flown
And sealed I feared it would be lost
If I put it into words.
But with you there at the door
I can tell it and weep.
And if ever tears are to be wiped away,
It will be in river country,
In that confluence of unmarked bridge-rumped roads
Beyond the Shannon, between the River Suck
And the Corrib River, where a plentiful
Solitude floods everyone who drives
In the unseasonal warmth of a January afternoon
Into places battened down under oyster light,
Under names unknown to most, but available
To you and proclaimable by you
Like a man speaking in tongues, brought to his senses
By a sudden plout on the road into Ahascragh.