The tide is high
as I walk the island
the day after the storm.
After the sea crossed the threshold of the Mullen’s front door –
for the first time
in Inis Mór memory.
Over the Atlantic horizon another storm is waking up.
The low road is in tatters,
massive chunks are torn to shreds.
Stonewalls and mega-weight slabs are scattered, haphazard,
as though they were buttons
flung by a child, racing wild, over paths and fields.
like an elephant dancing in your living room.
A big beautiful grey elephant with ivory tusks,
a long trunk,
and extremely large ears.
A pair of swans fly over me.
Their music lingers as they travel west.
Necks coiled with power.
White feathers shimmering.
Necks like legs.
Legs like Grecian marble columns
guarding the gateway to Tír na n-Óg.
This duo among the many birds
on the move from the salt-filled lake.
The drumbeat of their wings vibrates.
Dark grey clouds pack together beyond the fort of Dún Aonghusa
as I walk my dog to the beach later that week.
The air around us is still and overhead is blue –
until the eye of the storm moves on.
Then Hurricane Ruth roars down my chimney
and drives rain through the window frames.
I mop up the water with towels
as slates shatter from roofs outside.
Fields are sunken under sea and
– weeks later –
the bóithrín that skirted the lake is gone
in its place is awaterway
that the swans have vacated.