for Felim Egan
In the deep pool at Portstewart, I waded in
Up to the chest, then stood there half-suspended
Like Vitruvian man, both legs wide apart,
Both arms out buoyant to the fingertips,
Oxter-cogged on water.
My head was light,
My backbone plumb, my boy-nipples bisected
And tickled by the steel-zip cold meniscus.
On the hard scrabble of the junior football pitch
Where Leo Day, the college 'drillie', bounced
And counted and kept us all in line
In front of the wooden horse - 'One! Two! In! Out!' -
We upped and downed and scissored arms and legs
And spread ourselves on the wind's cross, felt our palms
As tautly strung as Francis of Assisi's
In Giotto's mural, where angelic neon
Zaps the ping-palmed saint with the stigmata.
On Sandymount Strand I can connect
Some bits and pieces. My seaside whirligig.
The cardinal points. The grey matter of sand
And sky. And a light that is down to earth
Beginning to fan out and open up.
Rui Carvalho Homem