Thursday, 5 April 2012

Paddy’s Island

How did you feel, Patrick, washed up
on a Welsh isle, at that time, with the
sun among the fishes and the moon
chasing Jupiter, your place in history
fated perhaps, but not so clear to see:
was it the wet and cold that did you?
A biting wind through sodden cloth?
Did you sense the snakes of Ireland
summoning you even then? Expel us,
holy amphibian! Inshallah, then we
plead with you: drive us from this land!
It's not clear now, whether you called
in your Guineveres and all your
aleswill table-rounders of that nation
you abjured, or they called you.
A king of England and Wales
for just a few minutes, your
saturated hallucination, drizzle-dream,
water on the brain, you never were
would be, but in the windward shade
of Holyhead one gathers snakes, like
native fleet-launching beauties,
were on the shy side. Couldn't
call them, deaf buggers, not to mention
the howling gale. Couldn't love them,
noble in décolletage, for you
had a sainthood to secure. Marry,
then let us new and to new ventures
across that warm and gentle sea!

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