Maurice Riordan Faun Whistling to a Blackbird
This afternoon a blackbird came to my nook
while I was sleeping off a feed of goat curds
and retsina. I’d rented one of those dreams
from Morpheus in which I was roughing it
with A down the Glens – or was it her cousin X?
The bird startled me as she foraged near my kit,
amongst the mosses where notepad and pen
had slipped from my hand. Maybe she mistook
the pad for bread since the pages were white
with some crumbs about growing old and sex?
She took flight, but only as far as the eglantine
behind my head. I tootled to her, Sweet bird,
why abuse a poet lost amid his fuzzy dreams...
She whistled back, some Goidelic curse she’d heard
beside the Erne or Belfast Lough. Such a flyting
we had, such a duel or duet we struck up then
as my brains fired, two heated creatures reared
in wind and muck becoming soul-companions
under the Sicilian sun – her feathered, me furred.