Under a Darkened Sky
after Sean O'Casey's Drums Under the Windows
Whiskey night... descending angel in a wolf skin cloak,
Good God, man: spectral March 17th shadows...
Padraic Pearse, face sidelong, hums a Rosmuc tune,
GB Shaw on his bum, cackles at a leather breviary,
James Connolly, strapped to a chair, bleeds-out.
Rain and wet-brow nods on Grafton Street:
Behan drunk in a trillion photographs at McDaid's.
At Gardiner Place, Cathal Goulding rasps,
Have you been reading your Karl Marx?
Rathfarnham: dusk... high grass... momentary lovers
hand-in-hand... at Pearse's Hermitage for a window peek.
March 17th... hardly a day for the Virgin-Born.
Chill winds.... Books, theatre against shame
and dank Dublin nights: bewildering for O'Casey
to march, for a hundred Easters, wisps of night,
green uniform, behind Connolly's waddle,
behind Pearse, I bring not peace but a sword.
Cathal Goulding (Dublin 1969)
Chief of Staff, Irish Republican Army, 1962-1972