John Kinsella

Mantra Post- Storm Desmond
July 25, 2016 Kinsella John

Mantra Post- Storm Desmond

 

After thirty-six hours indoors while Desmond

Raged, we break out into the flooded country

To walk wherever walking is possible. On heights

Above Crookhaven, the broken muddy road slides

Down to the sea and waves and rock make networks

Of spray to say there’ll be no easy aftermath. A bog

Pony on a tether grazing looks up and fixes us,

Its tail dragging on the restless green till it steps

Onto macadam to confront, saying, join me.

 

Bog pony.

 

After thirty-six hours indoors while Desmond

Raged, we break out into the flooded country

To rise up through Barnancleeve and twist towards

Durrus, heading to Bantry as 4.30-night closes

Over and then dark flash over road, an auburn

Squeeze through hedge — vanish — a stoat

Disturbed by us and the post- that doesn’t

Mean an end, a lull between, a reworking.

I thought it was. So did I. Sharp teeth blind.

 

Bog pony. Stoat.

 

 

After thirty-six hours indoors while Desmond

Raged, we break out into the flooded country

To return home as more rain starts its fall,

To taunt the swollen, taunt reflections of an over-

Polished stone cradle. Rat across the road,

Rattus rattus, sudden in apposition to itself!

To us wondering vole body but then up to sniff

Rank air and look so faultless in headlights,

So exquisite parting reeds and bracken, an edge.

 

Bog pony. Stoat. Rat.

 

John Kinsella’s poetry volume Insomnia is forthcoming from WW Norton in the US in 2020. His collection of poetry, Firebreaks (W. W. Norton) was published in 2016. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University.