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Parabola.

By MAURICE SCULLY.

__________Walking
__________along the coast
__________across the

__________wooden bridge
__________under planes
__________glinting silver
__________curving in to

__________land over the bay
__________yr stick clicks
__________out along the wall
__________in rhythm

__________back over
__________the bridge
__________past the
__________disused

__________baths past
__________the butterfly
__________monument
__________north along

__________the seafront
__________north beyond
__________the causeway
__________north into

__________the night
__________trailing
__________clouds of
__________wisps of

__________wistful
__________threads of
__________west inland
__________uphill

__________stars
______________doors
__________light
______________grass

__________boom goes the
__________thunder boom-
__________boom then it

__________picks
__________at the skin
__________of the face
__________to fall

__________to boot-tops
__________planting
__________deep into__________
__________down to

__________black/green
__________to the cycle
__________path by the sea
__________hissing across

__________the dimpled surface
__________of the water
__________slanting this way –
__________grey – the rain …

__________this other illness is much more
__________difficult to explain. The patient
__________starts the day & every day with
__________a clear urge to write & a clear idea
__________of a large structure to get down
__________then opening his/her notebook
__________the whole thing crumbles. He/she
__________tries again, optimistic of a better
__________outcome, not achieving it, always
__________about to begin again, ready, eager,
__________intense. Chronic Dedication Syndrome
__________or CDS is widespread among post-colonial
__________island populations especially during
__________or just after a prolonged period of
__________religious tyranny …

__________turn round

__________patterns of
__________geese gliding
__________in over the park
__________landing in

__________wavering
__________symmetries to/
__________up Watermill Rd
__________in out of memory &

__________revision up
__________down in yr
__________head yr

__________youth
________________yr after-youth
south
__________further south

_________….._further
_________……………._south
______again
__________flowing

__________on
__________down
__________to
__________a cup still

__________on a table
__________in the morning
__________to sip liquid
__________shipped all the

__________way from Bolivia
__________to here
__________(hot)

__________to you. Delicious.
__________Several times
__________in time back
__________past back

__________O

__________into I then
__________around it
__________out again
__________step facing

__________glimmering
__________points each
__________side the bay
__________in the dark

__________to try a few
__________cul de sacs
__________because
__________well

__________because nobody
__________knows no knot gnarled
__________a wren suddenly
__________& then

__________one Rigid
__________hits another
__________pow! let the
__________bloodshed

__________begin!
__________to cross
__________that bridge
__________again

__________to plan
__________the idea of
__________crossing
__________bridges again

__________to watch
__________an idea
__________moving
__________around

__________in its skin to as
__________yes no glue &
__________fuse across
__________tenuous & terrible

__________things
__________to walk between
__________cracks in the
__________paving

__________to walk
__________over
__________wet leaves

__________to walk
__________over
__________rainpools

__________boots
__________splash
__________gravel

__________this
__________way
__________that

__________which-through
__________could-must
__________would-must
__________must-must

__________how?

__________o

__________yes-yes
__________yes-yes

__________the light that morning was
__________yellow & garish. Random
__________patches of fog now & then
__________obscured the view & hung
__________motionless in many places
__________above the swamp. The road
__________was bad. The original surface
__________had been cracked
__________into huge, irregular segments
__________& jagged interstices stuck up
__________into the air. A chicken coop
__________fell, broke open …

__________to cross
__________a line – dogged –
__________boom goes
__________the thunder – to

__________why? – then
__________to walk on by
__________over & again.
_____…._____Step.

__________Quite-quiet
__________says a bird
__________on a stone
__________quite-quiet.

__________I do it the
__________easy way
__________she said
__________I do it

__________across
__________like that
__________then climbing
__________the long

__________ladders lashed
__________to a steeple
__________here’s a simple
__________mistake happy

__________birthday with
__________the candles
__________still stuck on it
__________will I show you

__________to walk past
__________Kinara &
__________Kanoodle with
__________yr shoes on

__________yr head on
__________yr shoulders
__________on the ball
__________on the button

__________off the wall
__________to walk between
__________wheelie bins
__________to walk up to

__________a shop but
__________not to go in
__________to walk this
__________blank then

__________to walk on air
__________then to come
__________back down
__________to that

__________old
__________cold
__________stone
__________wall

__________there round
__________the green demesne
__________faded
__________letters

__________to earth again
__________on the corner
__________under willow
__________& cedar

__________conteyning
__________thimmage
__________of mannes

__________voice most
__________like to the
__________life of nature –

__________house of shit
__________house of trash
__________house of echo-slick
__________heartlessness

__________mean-heartedness
__________(happy christmas!)
__________to walk on through what
__________you’ve been through

__________(through) been through
__________before but tilted filtered
__________I do the rabbit’s ears
__________like this to wake up

__________in the middle
__________of the night
__________to feel through all
__________this fleshly dress

__________oh – then – cut –
__________deft, light, pleating –
__________shoveller, mallard,
__________pintail, teal –

__________I do it across
__________like that will
__________I show you I do
__________the rabbit’s ears

__________(step) like this
__________walking on
__________in the dark
__________to meet Mr

__________ah Mr Eliot
__________(the sepals look
__________as if they’ve just
__________been flung

__________back to let
__________the curious
__________little flower out!)

__________hello
__________howdoyoudo
__________eminent

__________Person-of-Letters
__________yr hand going
__________through His and
__________Ghostly Quotations

__________too shaking air &
__________Ms Moore is
__________similarly eclectic
__________quite the

__________lady in fact
_______…_  to walk on
__________there’s Emily there’s
__________Lorine (hi Mina!)

__________hey Elizabeth!
__________into a dark
__________alleyway.
__________Mind that

__________hat! Power.

__________The house of
__________hearts. What?
__________Rain.

__________Splashes of
__________orange lichen.

__________Yellow.

I do it the easy way I do it
across like that will I show you
I do the rabbit’s ears like this &
I cross them over & then I tighten them
around & I pull this
up like that then I cross it
together like this
& it’s ready.


Maurice Scully was born in Dublin in 1952. His most recent book is Several Dances (Shearsman, 2014).
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