The Saturday Poem: A Visit, by Gerald Dawe

A poem in memory of Gerard Fanning 1952-2017

Gerard Fanning photographed by Moya Nolan. Courtesy of Dedalus Press

Gerard Fanning photographed by Moya Nolan. Courtesy of Dedalus Press

 

Gerard Fanning 1952-2017

Bees at the lavender beds hop
and skip and settle momentarily –
‘So many of them are there
once you really start looking,

and then at dusk they make
their way off, is it, westwards? . . .’
As we yarn, a couple of gardens
Away the innocent child swings

and sings to himself in the sunlight
of high-up marshalling rooks,
the odd passing shadow of a cloud.
And now this, the hesitant breath.

Are you the same boy smashing
through the salty waves, or strolling
at a countryman’s pace
by once-known family fields,

a little out of sorts –
‘You know yourself’ –
the nights drawing in
along the vivid coast

rather than here or hereabouts,
the noisy trees settle down
to your kind of silence,
the ‘watchful’ imminent dawn.

Gerald Dawe has published several collections of poetry as well as books of essays and critical studies. His most recent publication is In Another World: Van Morrison and Belfast (Merrion Press )