Aboard The Aran Seabird: Leaving Inishmore


Soon there will be rainbows at my feet. 

Seagulls circle and cavort.

Gaily, they laugh above the Atlantic surface.

Below, a lone black salmon finds no food

And shadows aimlessly the same small space.

I stand aboard The Aran Seabird.

Soon there will be rainbows at my feet.

I leave you on your grey and windswept,

Sea-wracked rock where all is always simple. 

I watch your weathered, red face, coarse

As the canvas on your curragh, grow desparate 

While each disembarked stranger fails to respond.


            "You need transport?"

            "You need pony and trap?"

            "You need pony and trap?"


The engine shakes The Seabird, my transport. 

With ceremony, I light a cigarette and sigh a wish. 

Go raibh maith agat. Good luck. 

May you never sink from your jovial surface

To the depths of your despair.


Written July 1988.