Bernard O’Donoghue
In the millhouse near Macroom the staircase
Curves down nowhere. It is dangerous now
And children are warned away by stories
Of mindless ghosts in whispering evening gowns
Descending for dinner. Look at them through
The arched window of mock Early English.
In the dried out race one of their ploughs
Lies sprawling on its back, wheel in the air,
Like an old gentleman flopsed down on ice.

The stream will sit no more for Constable
And traces its older course behind the furze.
Nettle and blackberry elbow through again,
Once carefully stratched out by blade and scythe-nib
To clear the way for the small Augustan lawn
And rose-arbour. As if by ultra-violet
An archaic lettering is revealed
(Whose verse, as yet, we haven't learned to scan)
Of grace-note, souterrain and standing-stone,
Waiting in patience for the ink to fade.
Page 39, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 12