Steps and questions in tandem
Yet ‘never the twain shall meet’
Until I lie on my shadow
When I enter the narrow house
Steered by collared myrmidons
Of outstretched paw and tenant mouse.
I pondered the passions of life
Enacted in rhyme and song
As the music of Munster
Lilting from O’Gara’s tongue.
How to stall the cry of conscience;
Realization cannot be outrun,
Death is a maker of widows
As true as the dial to the sun.
The false pride of principle struck me
Regularity and virtue not my lot
I live in a house of calm calamity
Forget me but forgive me not.
Whispers of fancy, phantoms of hope
Walked with me through perilous gap
The work of buried hands, buried faces,
Hope survives on a crumb and a scrap.
Consider mercy side-lined by justice
Justice ignored by law,
Priests who preach but never suffer
Do branches know the bite of the saw?
Love is a limited substance
The slow burning out of a dying fire
Disappointment married to expectation
The dropping of ripe fruit, the end of desire.
If death means extinction it is nothing!
Nothing but echoing rise and fall.
To achieve long life is to ignore its passing
But for the mirror; time never seen,
Passing as the mist on the mountain
Or the daisy on Fiddlers Green.