Poem of the week: Take a Walk on the Wild Side
By Peadar O’Donoghue
Dogs, like time and tide,
wait for no man or woman, or virus.
But this dog was waiting for me,
and I couldn’t say no.
So check glasses, wellos, poo bags, collar.
Lead the way Macduff!
Late, thank God; the misanthropist’s delight.
We saw a trawler – out to sea, lights as beguiling,
as lonesome, as a funeral song.
We heard, then vaguely saw, a swan,
followed by another swan, flying,
barely able to know if that raw
asthmatic sound was from beak or wing.
A robin, more trusting than brave,
sang us the sweetest Evensong.
Another bird, even more startled
than us, with its helicopter wings,
took fright, took flight.
Far above us all a jet plane,
warm-framed in the twilight,
its jet trail rendered sweet
by the failing sunlight –
Red, and as beautiful as a comet’s tail.
Was it merely this (merely?!)
or every single thing gone before,
or the horror of now,
that sank me to my knees?
Peadar O’Donoghue is co-editor of PB Magazine, with his wife, Collette. He has published two collections of poetry, The Death of Poetry (PB Press 2019), and Jewel (Salmon Poetry 2012).