Louis Groarke: ‘Dublin Swans’ and ‘Snow in Dublin’

Dublin Swans
“Wholly serene and sure,
with regal composure,
[the swan] allows himself to glide.”
          —Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Swan”

Far from home in Dublin
Where I have lost my way
I watch the swans go sailing by
On a cloudy Dublin day

These majestic birds, they float on by
Big and proud and slow
Heedless of the litter
Beneath the water’s flow

In between the lily pads
I watch them sweetly pass
By rusting shapes and broken bottles
Amid the clumps of scattered grass

On canals of brackish water
They patrol the Dublin shores
Past relics of old churches
And rows of Georgian doors

On mirrored lengths of water
Beneath a silver moon
These feathered ghosts of Dublin
Haunt the evening gloom

Yet morning spoils the picture
Amid the urban sprawl
On oily foam, swans make their home
Beside a moldy wall

These kings and queens of nature
They ride the algae tides
Through winding, labyrinth waterways
Along their reedy sides

These feathered ships go sailing
They ply the Dublin seas
Past plastic bags and floating rags
In water stained like tea

These feathered boats immaculate
They ride the rolling waves
Amid the din of traffic
In Dublin’s urban maze.

Louis Groarke

Snow in Dublin

When, in Québec, it’s snowing
It snows in Dublin town
Cherry blossoms fall like snowflakes
As petals tumble down

When the final breath of Winter
Blows blizzards through the gloom
Back home, it weaves thick blankets
While, in Dublin, flowers bloom

When winter back in Canada
Coughs up one last bout of snow
The daffodils in Dublin
Line streets in yellow rows

In distant far America
Seasons quickly do the deed
The melting snow soon drenches
Every thirsty seed

Spring ferocious bursts forth glorious
From Winter’s empty tomb
Dublin’s seasons move more slowly
Amid her ivy-cluttered ruins

Old Dublin’s now a city
With crowded shops and bars
The homeless beg on corners
Amid the angry cars

But Nature tends her gardens
In springtime as it rains
Underneath the trees it’s snowing
On Dublin’s crooked lanes

It’s strange to think it’s winter
Far across the pond
As petals rain down softly
On Ireland’s emerald lawns.

Louis Groarke

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