THE POSSIBILITY THAT HAS BEEN OVERLOOKED IS THE FUTURE ( for Michael Hartnett )
found penny in a puddle year of my birth
I pocket it as the poet passes cap in hand
this brilliant man sculpted from sadness loneliness falling like rain
he goes to greet me knowing he knows me but my face escapes him
I only ever meet him when the drink has taken him prisoner
inside his head haiku breed "..like maggots!" he says..."...like maggots!"
"I don't want your company or your pity!" he snarls "Just the price of a pint!"
I have only the old puddle penny I've found I give him my coat
he puts his hat on his head at a rakish angle
the tree flies away the bird hangs still in the air neon scribbles on the puddles
The title is taken from one of Michael's poems as is the idea of a tree flying away leaving the bird in mid-air! It always greatly amused me. The only other time I had gone to hear him read and he was too drunk to perform. I had to get a last bus back to the Curragh and by then I think he got around to reading. He had asked me if I wrote poetry too and when I said I do he said "Ahhh then....I pity you!"