The headstone for my parents' grave in Drumbo churchyard
I have imagined only: a triangular slab from the spiral
Staircase in the round tower that nearly overshadows them,
A stumpy ruin beside which I have seen myself standing
And following everyone's forefinger up into the sky.
Because he had survived in a coracle made out of feathers
I want to ask him about the lock-keeper's house at Newforge
Where a hole grows in the water, and about the towpath
That follows the Styx as far as the Minnowburn Beeches
And the end of his dream, and about the oars like wings.
As though her ashes had been its cargo when the ice-boat
Was rocked at dawn like a cradle and hauled from Shaw's
Bridge past Drumbo and Drumbeg, all the way to Aghalee,
I can hear in the frosty air above Acheron ice cracking
And the clatter of horses' hooves on the slippery towpath.
The wreck at Thallabaun whose timbers whistle in the wind
The tunes of shipwright, sawyer, cabinet-maker - adze
And axe and chisel following the grain - is my blue-print
For the ship of death, wood as hard as stone that keeps
Coming ashore with its cargo of sand and sandy water.
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content