Poetry: Song For The Magic Mountain by Macdara Woods


In Istanbul I bought a shirt
And shoes from Cesarini
Set up shop as Hans Casthorp
With partner Settembrini

In Anglesea I disembarked
Migrating south to pasture
Until I came to Marble Arch
And fields of alabaster

In spring I started up again
On a wind that blew from Ealing
Soldering for Sir Christopher Wren
On the pipes above the ceiling

In Avalon there is a road
And a house marked number seven
Ruled by eighteen stones of Flo
And justice most uneven

In Ladbroke Grove I came to rest
Weary undecided
Until the night we burnt our boats
On bad lysergic acid

On Dover beach I tried to sleep
As I took my leave of England
But as ye sow ye so shall reap
Of cold and stony shingle

In Salamanca I took note
Again in Rome and Paris
The sense of purpose that had built
Each exiled Irish College

The sun arose in Lavandou
Above the Bormes mimosas
Off-red and white - that lightly strewed
Confetti on the roadway

A job came up in Zonguldak
But I was back in Dublin
A loaf of bread a jug and cup
For drinking tea and jasmine

Amor vincit omnia
Throughout the National Gallery
We know however staid we are
There’s truth in all tomfoolery

My shirt I bought in Istanbul
My shoes from Zugaroni
A monkey suit in Hartlepool
And a ticket for Mahagonny

Macdara Woods has published many collections since the 1970s, most recently his Collected Poems (Dedalus Press)