D e s
Well, that’s another one fallen from the twig!
The wintery grapevine shivers, the news is spread,
Des O’Brien is dead.
Well I won’t be going to his funeral
Says one old mate, it’s far too late,
He had his chance!
Me neither, says another,
It’d be sheer damn hypocrisy.
I nod my head and hold my peace
And in my peace I see the quiet of Dalkey Sound
And the water spider of a row boat, island bound
And the Scotch Pines my grandfather planted
In Dillons Park and the concrete goats
Where my children played in other times.
So, Des O’Brien is dead!
I watch his ghostly rowboat row and think
Of ferrymen and Styx and such, and Des.
Yes, an arrogant rogue, he ducked and dived,
Played his charm like a fiddler in a paddy bar
And travelled far, mysteriously, in The East,
(Why, who knows, and who can tell?)
Then come every spring he went to our island
With lime and brush to paint the Holy Well.
Who will go there now, I ask
The silent sea and the Scotch Pines my grandfather planted
And the concrete goats where my children played
In other times, who will paint the Holy Well?
Who will go, and why?