Macchu Picchu, inis mor

For Pura Lopez Colome

On the ferry out we talk about marvels:
The poet that left a mistress for his wife -
And translate images; they break the surface
Of our talk like new islands. To the west
A red heart bleeds over the airstrip,
To the east, licked by terra cotta flames
A Daz-white angel is fighting the devil for a soul-
He pulls desperately on one leg
But the devil has him by the head. The soul
Scorched and nearly torn in two
Is wearing a bainin jacket and Reebok trainers -

It must be the Gaeltacht they're intent on saving.
He is hacking at them both
With a rusty halo bent into a T na G logo.
What would that mean in Mexico?
Well, you tell me in accented English,
'The little guy in the middle is the loser.'
The devil spins around and flashes us a smile
Like Al Pacino. I chant O'Flatharta's's ode to the cregg,
Which flowers as we roam the island.
Small fields of primroses and gentians
Have the terrible freshness of lost children.

Here sweet accidents are married to hard labour.
Poets make uneasy pagans.
Chiapas, you say, Chiapas, and tell me
That in Mexico there would be red earth.
'And scorpions' to give the last line bite.
We have sirens and seashells in common
Though later at Dun Aengus I angle
My body out from the clefts in the limestone
In case. This small stone citadel
Is no match for Oaxaca or Macchu Picchu
but it serves the same purpose -

As good a place as any to start the past,
To offer gifts of older Gods,
Celtic or Mayan, it doesn't matter;
They are idols of our own desire to comfort
Those who swept up the mess
Left by torture, emigration, famine,
Again and again and again. The ones that were left.
There must have been more to their lives than this
We think, they must have had simple faith,
If only in the dead partying along the seashore,
The caoin of a guitar, white roses on the water.