The Tickles of Mating

By | 1 October 2015

for Jack Donlon

The cicadas of Ecuador
start the buzz by beating
their timbals
together in time;

the fireflies
do it by synchronizing
the sparks
in the dark;

the zigzags of Crete
begin by piping
a sac
under their wings,

while the snipe of Finea
whisk the song
out of the feathers
in their tail:

God bless the sky goat.
I’ve heard him
chase through the mists
and halos over Jack’s;

and I’ve seen the flies
shepherd the stars at
last into flocks
in the Valley of the Volcanoes.

From The Travels of Sorrow (2015), reproduced by kind permission of Helen Gillard/The Estate of Dermot Healy and The Gallery Press.

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