The Green Plover: A new poem by John F Deane

John F Deane

John F Deane

 

I am haunted still by that manifest old
regular irregular cranking skreak
from the ill-greased axle of a cart
hauling home its load of harvested peat -
something like the marshland cry of the curlew
or the scream of the just-snared hare. This turning
turning world! and I on the piano stool,
child-fingers graceless at the scales, contrary
motion and arpeggio. They told me
creation’s chronicles have been garbled,
its music a cacophony. So I clung
to the rood of clay I come from, hoping yet
there may be universes of star and light
where angels guide the heavenly spheres
towards an ultimate harmony. . . I wonder
if the first birth is a death; perhaps the final
death may be a birth and the spirit will set out
on a greater journey, as yet unsatisfied,
down mud-fields and cobbled avenues
of regret. Who is to know if this is yet
the final journey, universe so vast and its
axle maybe rusting, for how can spirit
come to a halt, though it be in the bosom
of a loving God? A flight of lapwings now,
green plover, have lifted sudden and erratic
from the marshland fields along the sandbanks,
the waters of Blacksod Bay under rain-mist
and a storm blowing in; their cries are plaintive,
suffering winter and sea-wind sorrow, for they
know well things at their source, unmanifest.

John F Deane founded Poetry Ireland and Poetry Ireland Review. Hi slatest collection is Dear Pilgrims (Carcanet, 2018)