Ern Malley III: A Difficult Love

By | 1 December 2010

And if the younger William Butler Yeats
were one of his regular drinking mates,
a few under the belt on Anzac Day
would square this difficult love away,
and Eve would open again her western gates

as in that hot and leaf-veined beer garden
things ill-defined once voiced, would harden
and every mythical hot-to-trot
would find a handy parking spot
outside the bar. In the light of what was spoken

there, over sodden coasters and glasses,
the valley would sing and shake her skirt of short grasses
and brambles. Broad-faced bouncers would fall away –
the angler and poet would at last hold sway
over all the mangled ritual that passes

for a day. But Yeats, he knows, got tired of tricks
and turned from gardens back to the bricks,
which piled upon each other make the world.
And the valley has her type like any other girl –
she likes a man with common sense, who kicks

against the entrophy of ordinary days,
a man you can count on to mean what he says.
Have a drink, she says, with that American, Robert Frost,
I understand his roads and walls; you won’t get lost
with him. And at that point, his mind ablaze

with love and hate like gold and silver apples,
hanging so low that he could no more grapple
with the image of the tree itself,
than with a single volume on his shelf,
he turned away from her, even as the dappled
light that plays across her pale summer breast
came burning back through his every thought.

This entry was posted in 42: CHILDREN OF MALLEY II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work: