To the Fair City

Lars Landgren


Iveagh Gardens rest tubercular

from where a host of moulded capillaries

crawl serpentine into the ashen Pale.

And I, a numb dull dolly clone,

a hueless mass, a useless Ulysses,

walk coughing oyster drab and Molly dumb alone.

I’m nineteen-sixteen muzzle damp.

I skulk along the Liffey

knocking over blocks of flats and couples holding hands.

You are, forgive me, not so bad -- but

Howth to Greystones, utterly unlovable.

Under your all-consuming sky

I howl “Look up!” -- “The sky!”

It falls to me to note the few fair things

which fly between the grey and sky,

which rest here, between page and eye.