The return of the artist
It was that kind of a once-in-a-lifetime
snow and hailstones day
so dreamed of by smug artists and Yale dons,
dendrological in a buns and sofa way:
King David on his throne,
Bathsheba pouring goat curd and curses
over the scone mix,
when the garlic guest strolled in,
carrying his masterpiece on a head
[true to his training],
the snow and slurry from his mosaic boots
beguiling the Axminister with rocks of ages.
“My ship is waiting at Giza”,
“the clouds are bubble-wrap on the easel”.
We danced on the head of Cleopatra’s knitting needle.
Others sang the Horst Wessel
to the air of Blue moon in Kentucky.
The guest wept and changed his sou’wester
For an eye on the dollar.
The latticed jaw of the old
rag and bone department secretary
glanced knowingly at the steel hull
of the egg and banana sandwich.
“Time for the séance,”
he announced to the assembled
gas chambers and matches in waiting.
These were the moments he relished,
longboats thrusting out to sea,
curraghs driven by tattooed oarswomen,
an old philosopher set on the remains of the planet Pluto,
memorising the book of Enoch.
“Now”, he rasped, fresh from the stench of the farriers’ meeting house,
“who can give me the pickled head
of the webbed foot profit
in an old hat box?
The blood red moon sailed by the blacked out window,
widows and childless crooned
the last verse of I’ll be seeing you,
a tribute in yodel to the ode of Saint Vitus.
Cill Rialaig Poems
To say their story is empty egg shells
on moon mirages,
twinkling watercress and cheviot sheep
with no strings attached,
she played the last deuce in the water lily plot.
The many options carved in sacred clouds
of mist and chewed gum,
known to three of the four horsemen,
plough on regardless of the shifting acrylics
and sneaky shadow with pitchfork feet,
reflect the shapely nude on the butterfly wings
that support the impressive palace.
Knowing this first she ate the laid egg
and carried them on beds of thistles and whooping cough
to the church of the confused chicken.