Ian Irwin

Wedding at Enniscrone, Co. Sligo

after W. B. Yeats

the weather here is capricious

Earth skews towards spring

tides shift green-grey dulling

the blade of Arctic winter

behind me the wedding roars

as the ceilidh’s gyres widen

you’d have spun a reel

moon-eyes leaping bright

waves whip white skeins,

a caul; scrimshaw scrawled

across the steel green foam

unbridled bravery of the Viking

Atlantic in perpetual tug o’war

with the shifting shore

a brawling giant of a place

the air saline and kelp-sharp

would that you could have come

a story locked in eviction records 

this close to the border children 

burn red diesel & plastic bags

in Junior’s bar & me too young

a beast was slaughtered & the door

framed it & the eye rolled a fragment 

of panic at us – where were we then? 

around the country roads & us all

together in Irish summers raiding 

cigarette machines, the smell of wasps

it doesn’t change but these corners 

crawl with today the hottest ever 

in Ireland and since we can’t share 

these spaces any more & split hairs 

about the last time we were home

what does it matter? we’re at the edge

& are we not always home anyway?  

I understand it only so far without you 

displaced again, another rain shadow

there’s pride in the terror

Ian Irwin is a poet and teacher. He lives and works in Bristol, England, and has been writing and reading poetry there for over a decade. Currently, he is a mentee on the Out-Spoken Press Emerging Poets Development Scheme and is working on a collection of poetry.