Dúlemán

Deep breath, dive deep to operate
This hushing creep, and washing hush.
Dúlemán, submerged in waves
Of hope and trouble,  
All photographic-film flimsy, 
And wearing exposure, like negatives,
Swaying in iodine and sterile seawater   

The dulemán illuminated
By white seeping 
Light that creeps to know
And expose the deep within 
And fathom 
The depths
Of dreams
The blue
The dim 
And the deeper still
 
The beat, the pulse that pounds 
Like sonar, to sound
The floors and walls and bed, 
Will echo, and return
In the evening hours,
When these are softer
A-tidal rocking
A-cradling in my arms,
Ah chuisle mo chroi
 
I stand and watch the ebb and flow
Of air and vapour
Breath in stop breath out stop
Breath in stop breath out stop
Bag and bellow, pillows of air 
The voice of pressure 
The driver, and pipe-dream 
Of the diver, gone under.
 
The slow-motion synchronised 
Swimming vision of dúlemán
Bow in the tide of trying
To the calling, rolling wave after wave
And row on row of shining surgical steel
A treasure chest, a treasured chest
 
The clicks and groans of frustration
Sent in glass bottles, bobbing over waves
Of blue drapes, this sea of effort
And the weight of you, Leviathan
Cruciform, draped and draping.
 
I feel the weight of you,
And see the pieta, Leviathan
Your marble skin, too pale, 
On my shoulders, 
An atlas of my gains and losses
Until I can place you in the arms 
Afflicted but consoled, 
Resting safe, swabbed clean, on the Star of the Sea
 
Ah but the sight of you, the life of you, 
The very idea of you
The madness of being 
These pockets of hope, rise as if 
As irrepressible and incredible 
As an underwater fountain of air
Rushing up through gloaming light
Thrilling the dúlemán to dancing
 
The chuisle mo chroí in my ears
Dampened ringing under water
The hulking hope of you, limp but clinging
And plumbing the depths of me
The Leviathan lifted by dúlemán
 
The surgeon’s hand strikes upwards
To breach the surface, to the circling air, gasping and grasping
 
And turns the light to the lightness of Leviathan 
And the brightness of being. 
 
K.MacGloin
 
 
Dúlemán – seaweed
Chuilse mo chroí – pulse of my heart

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