Richard W. Halperin – Howth

 Richard W. Halperin‘s fourth collection for Salmon is Catch Me While You Have the Light; his seventh smaller collection for Lapwing is Three Poem Sequences – both 2018.


There it all began and there it ended,
The DART station which was not so different
From when there had not yet been the DART,
A train station, you, me, a day, at that
Crossroads. We could not yet see the sea entire,
We had not yet realised what would be the impact
Of the little town. Then on and out we went
And stayed a few days, and the days snapped
Like a cord – the shops, the church, the beach,
The local wise woman whose hands healed,
The hill that we climbed daily without knowing why,
And all the time a poet and a beautiful woman,
Not we, recognised each other on the
Station platform perpetually, and all, all –
All rhymes with still – snapped like a cord,
And you very ill though still very young,
And I a little less dense from the light
And the sea, and there was no gold mechanical bird
Or night shapes, though this is where they had
Come from. We left, you feeling less ill
Although in fact you were more ill,
We together on the DART back to Dublin,
You already on another train,
As I one day shall be on another train,
And by now Howth has changed beyond recognition
Although of course it can still be recognised,
It still grabs the entire island of Ireland
By the shirttails to keep the whole works
From blowing out to sea, and we will be,
I hope, where it is blowing to, and so, and so,
Yesterday I was invited to a wedding
In the little church, and I shall not go,
I shall never go back, I can never go back

To Howth.




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