Here is a poem I was asked to write for the birth of my nephew. It wouldn’t have got written if I hadn’t been asked, which makes it feel something of a surrogate (ironically). But that is not the point. The point is to make something selfless, objective to the author but subjective to the ‘patron’, as it were. I’m not sure I was able to remove myself enough. But fuck it. It’s not for me. It’s for Colm.
The Sea Gives
All winter I walked right to the edge of the bluff.
For all the wind, I was surefooted. I knew how to be there.
I took stock of the waves, how they tore themselves up
And then sewed themselves up, how they crouched and pounced like snow-cats.
I watched them pass, threshold after threshold after threshold.
I waited, but never once a door. One day I swam out. I wanted
Desperately to see in, but the surf was like a long, white blindfold
And I was left to imagine: were there auroras of kelp? Constellations of sea soot?
At last, I took a tugboat, an old thing, like an oil lamp tipped on its side.
I let the water rise and set bread-like beneath me. I drifted off
Until I was lost. And then from the bluff the lighthouse, clear-eyed,
Took me in. I understood its language. Enough, it said. Come home.