you felt blessed if it didn’t go beyond that
during our horse holiday ,
the sky keeping silvery bright
and the needle-drops seeming to dry off
in the wind just before reaching your coat.
But that morning at Cavan Garden
heavy real rain seemed the only promise,
swollen dark pewter clouds filled the air
while we were busy getting ready, silent
among saddle-bags, straps, bridles, horse food
and flies in a thick bunch swarming.
Dark air, dark mood, it didn’t seem a good start,
the world through my specs a brittle canvas,
a pointillist blur.
Your horse’s girth seemed shorter than on other mornings,
it couldn’t get closed and the drops
were becoming harder and more steady;
I walked the horse in the rain’s growing roar
then I tried again, no way, you couldn’t get
to that longed for first hole. We were stuck.
A man came to help, he was deaf and dumb
and –well we were in tune, deafened all by the sky noise.
I pointed out the problem, he had
a beam on his face like an honest sun.
He leaned with his forehead on the horse’s flank,
pulled quietly and slowly got to the hole. We could go.
The rain had eased, it was drizzling again.
We said goodbye to him with the palm of our hand
starting to go, his smile receding.
The roar had stopped, silence again was spreading,
now we felt sprinkled, lighter, plunged once more
into the greenness of the green.
Barbara Smith in her latest post of October 5th talks about poetry readings and "poetry abounding" and mentions Lough Derg in Ireland as one of the venues.
I saw Lough Derg on a day in July 1992, it appeared all of a sudden as a marvel -with the monastery on the island- while we were trotting out of a wood during a fifteen day horse riding through County Sligo and County Donegal.
The poem I have enclosed above is about the beginning of another of those days.