The joy for me is to be in the middle of writing a poem, which is a strange sort of joy, I know. There is no relief at the end—only the knowledge that I’ve got to start thinking about a new poem and all the worries that brings with it. When will it come? How will I recognise it? What if there isn’t another poem? But then time passes and there is. Sometimes it’s weeks, sometimes years. I’m not in a hurry. “Poetry isn’t a horserace,” Daryl Hine used to say to me. —From an interview with Evan Jones in Maisonneuve, November 30, 2012
A Black-headed Gull Dives for Fish at Dun Laoghaire
for John McAuliffe
I can see him, John, I can! His velocity is unmatched.
He is shivving the water, a black incision in the ocean’s back.
He braves the waves, breaches the beaches,
collects the kids on time and has dinner ready for his wife.
Wait. No. His wife makes dinner.
He doesn’t have time but to be a bird.
And when he turns up empty-beaked, wind-blown,
so caught up, well, what can we do but track his every move.
Ah, but the lake and the pond, the river and the creek, the ocean
and the sea are all for drowning, you say.
You’re not wrong. But he’s not just another bird.
And the fish today are sparkling.