Canto LXIX

I will run today, through the thin sheets
of drizzle Irish champions wear with pride.
After that I’ll go on to complete

those applications I pushed to one side.
I won’t write an O’Hara parody
entitled “The Day Smokin’ Joe Died”

because we did it for Michael and Amy.
Today my business is with the living,
though still, the dead assemble in their armies

on bookshelves, radio playlists, sometimes waving
from photographs, the grainy afterlife,
the light they gave to silver gelatin.

We cannot beat them, we are but the waifs
that scurry in their shadows, though we wield
another weapon to absolve the grief

and guilt of our surviving, for we hold
the prospects of the lives we can deliver,
to double up our wide, ancestral worlds—

the rain of Cork and, sorry Joe, Manila.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. redplace
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 09:18:09

    I felt really touched reading this poem… I especially loved: and guilt of our surviving, for we hold
    the prospects of the lives we can deliver,
    to double up our wide, ancestral worlds—

    There is something about this stanza that just sticks… really beautiful reading 🙂

    Reply

  2. Niall O'Sullivan
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 13:52:45

    Thanks redplace, 🙂

    Reply

  3. peter litton
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 00:47:44

    Manila?
    I liked the fourth stanza, there is something very poignant about monochrome photos…this is how we remember the departed, they sort of fade away.

    Reply

  4. peter litton
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 01:31:45

    Oh yes…”The Thrilla in Manila” which Ali only just won.

    Reply

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