Monday, March 14, 2005

LUAS Red Line

The LUAS stop at Tallaght on a raw
November afternoon is a chill sprawl
of hospitals and shopping malls; a mid-term
pregnant concrete project in construction
sired by the Celtic Tiger, giving birth
to troops of high-viz jackeroos conducting
the business of corporate-ordered paradise.

Trams slip out smooth from wombs of blue and white
hoardings, housing five cranes here, eight cranes there,
pull up the dip and sharply swing a right
through a swathe of hospital and houses
snaking round the winding perimeter
walls and rails of low-rise commercial outlets
along Belgard's dollop of urban countryside;
then down a slope to Kingswood's black cambered
cobblestones and a hamlet of Alpine
style picture postcard abodes in stout set
perfect lines which meander to a standard
stop beside the bare black faery bush at the
Red Cow depot's toy-town-like tram-park.

This commuter bus interchange-complex
awaits a final lay for the sod-fed
turf-green service-landscape to shine complete,
and as our low-slung tram passes over
the M50, past a lumpy scrapheap,
business centres stretch as far as the eye
can see. Harris Hina, an Esso
garage, Electrolux, Woodies DIY
and McDonalds, all merge to a wrapped-neat
blur of consumer-central logo
flags blowing in the breeze at Kylemore
shopper heaven, where a wind-whipped sapling
bends like a fishing rod reeling in the bargains.

Houses start at Bluebell, and a bright horse
and Mother Theresa relief pass in
a slow moment of double-take, startling
the eye to other incongruous sights;
sleek swans and gulls at paddle side by side
along the Grand Canal as a child flings
bread loaf from a buggy at Goldenbridge
whilst dad sparks up then leans against a wall.

An assortment of corporation housing
glides past in a variety of form
from three-storey strip-block flats at Rialto
to one small box of red-brick cottages
at Fatima, where town begins to show
in the barbed razor-wire strung on top
of high walls hugging St James Hospital,
and drunks in garish tracksuits and bubble
jackets dirt-burnished to a lard-like sheen
sup their gargle and stagger befuddled
as the city-centre's pulse begins to beat
in earnest.

At the gatehouse of St Patrick's
scruffy pigeons perch on leafless branches,
a poncho princess alights at Heuston
and the grey stone walls and bricked-up windows
around Smithfield and Four Courts juxtapose
the dilapidation of the Cobblestones
pub with a billowing new commuter
friendly layout running ribbon straight
across O'Connell's heart, through to the
bargain district of the bus station
before lipping round left to terminate
at Connolly, where doors swhoosh open
and we exit and melt into the cold strolling
crowds of Dublin heading homeward.


You will always live
buried in a deep beyond
and beckoning to me
from lambent thought's eternal path
through conduits of melancholy.
Your spirit flames alive there
fused within our heart
of sorrow's weathered love
and threads the soul within
the shadow where your spirit
speaks the poem of us all.

Mark's Valentine

Curled red hair like sun-flame
streaming through the ether
of a February day
has captured every moment
of the time it took for love
to ripen, and the suddenness
with which I fell for you;
sensuous butterfly
who makes my spirit quicken
to the music of the thorn-bush
and the cherry blossom
sung in spring to the lilting
beat of love song singing


Remember when we laughed at life square on,
in days existing now as only memories held inside,
distanced from this moment
by rotation measure time
we'll never halt
or with any words define?

Words will conjure images
and spark all sorts of trains of thought
careering through the mind,
like kaleidoscopic pictures,
but these we only glimpse upon in passing
with internal eyes
that swiftly frame in wordless abstract
any meaning they divine.

Some things lay beyond
where conscious grasp can't reach,
for time, like truth, is each our own,
unfolds unique to one and all
and lives are lived as days have gone,
no two the same
beyond the passing of horizons by the sun.

And should the echoes of our laughter then return,
when suns now set
outweigh the suns for rising,
will they live with those we leave behind,
when our stream of time no longer flows
and lips of life cease smiling?


Walking the rhododendron-sheltered road
from McLoughlin's to the cottage I became
connected to a patchwork of field, bog 
and peat smoke, where even the dead brown
heads of wild rhubarb fell into being 
with the dog bark and bird-call puncturing 
the silence wrapping the island completely
save for the foam white horse-water
dancing at the Atlantic's Eastern edge.

And calling to a half-bright moon as a
ruby-pink finger of crimson cloud ringed
atop of Slievemore mountain gently paled 
to white mist and disappeared into 
the ether that warm May night, I felt 
the silken velvet light of Achill hold 
within its grasp all the waves of time 
that ever broke upon Croaghaun cliffs 
and her wind-ravaged fir trees, always 
ever-blooming in a moment ever present 
no sweeping hand can measure, silent 
in a tribal heart beating its Bunacurry 
blood beneath the Beltaine moon.