It is the summer of 1914;
The English poets gather in the Gloucestershire countryside,
With the welcome presence of Robert Frost.

Abercrombie, Gibson, Brooke, Farjeon;
And Ivor Gurney knocking on the door,
Edward Thomas launches the new age.

The fields were green and the sky was blue,
The woods were dark and the cider strong;
Press pity on the ruined cloth of day.

A time to every purpose under Heaven.


Old men, who should know better, 
Sidle up to me and say:

Young men, who should know better,
Sidle up to me and say:

`Adolf had it right about the Jews.'

Six million columns of smoke-dust
rise from this century
and they ask for more.


In my tattered shirt with my hair cut short;
I sit on Macgillicuddy Reeks savouring the view.

I was sent out to win all prizes;
Put my mark on the great estate.

We were at La Rochelle, we were at the Boyne;
Crilly House to our cousin, Malcolmwood for us.

The antique music of Dylan's Unplugged from thirty years ago;
The voice postures and cracks, an inner emptiness.

Ceremonies of the horsemen, I look out over Killarney;
Cromwell was here, breathing his narrow vision.

In the Autumn it will be time to head home for Lanark;
Where they pulled William Wallace off his horse, the English.

Was it Wallace or Chalmers scored the goal in Lisbon?
All the prizes have been ours. We have won everything.

An air from Liam Og, heartbreaking sorrow, I am half-Irish;
My Irish grandfather wore spats and a waxed moustache

As he played his mandolin. The century ends;
In the morning we watch the processional lead to the citadel.


I was born into the Holocaust
Have lived through it several times;
Now I miss the pain, the agony
The rub of the razor's edge.

I must give up Poetry
Am too empty to have words;
Only a dilettante's diary
Not the real meat.

Celan drowned himself
Drank Love down in one enormous gulp;
I have been a stranger to Life
Cobble out another new shoe.

Fracture the Language
Make the body squeal for what it has done to us;
In the Celtic forests
Is to be found the green translucence.

No Cross. No red-backed Bible.
Somewhere is the home Spiritual;
Where there is nothing but emptiness
And no need for an audience.

For Frankie Kennedy

This is a song about no-one
This is a song about nothing
And the wild Irish fiddlers
Play panic at the gates of Hell

This comes from the dark of night
This comes from the babe on the knee
The wild Irish fiddlers
Play Heaven at the gates of Hell

Listen to the mourning chime
Listen to the heave-ho of the tide
All the wild Irish fiddlers
Come play at the gates of Hell

Wake for one last minute of riot
Wake for one last sip of the Heathen drink
For all the wild Irish fiddlers
One day rest at the gates of Death

Douglas Clark /Poems95/ Benjamin Press, 69 Hillcrest Drive, Bath BA2 1HD, UK/ d.g.d.clark@dgdclynx.plus.com