Monday 9 May 2022

Last Busker of Dublin - Prose Poem by Greg Patrick


Last Busker of Dublin

By Greg Patrick

“For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

The night has fallen. Street-lights appear. How above the roar of the city will they hear? Words reach out to those in the swarming like a balancing fisherman with his spear. The world is marched to a beat, not of the heart’s blood-chant but of a hunger and need-driven feet. The dreams of the bard obsolete. Hunger for things and dancing on popular will’s strings.

“Music, lend me thy dark wings….”

His breath steams like a smoking gun in the chill air as the echoes of the song trail off.
not a cd sold words hauntingly linger like an old warrior’s wounds throbbing in the cold. He sings other words to the herds, till they become his own. The words of bards the finger’s that caressed the harp now bone. He plays for the coins of the visitors from across the sea. Praise-singer of the urban world. Who needs a tree? He sings of 1798 as processions of shadow warrior pass phantasmaly.

He closes his eyes as shadows dance to old songs...Rebels who fought without a chance.
He feels as gradually unseen as statues of great men that have become invisible while the living toast
another land’s queen, singing for a muse that seemed to have strayed from a silver screen.

Like a guardian at his post and station he stands and eyes that open to the song and passerby he demands:

“Bring me the night. Bring me the storms. There is no shelter from the songs. I’ll play the right notes

through a lifetime’s wrongs. Some artists make their mark. The soloist only paints

notes on the dark and as if by a sleepless sculptor’s hands, builds castles of dreams 

from castaway island’s sands washed away by the hungry waves and like the sea who

 sighs at the castaway’s feet the mainstream passes by as if the sum of all the tears to cry.”

Eyes open like one startled from nightmare in the hours before the light, fluttering eyes like night-blooming roses petals nourished by a heart that answers to the brightness of one smile alone. The music takes a darker tone.

A crowd has gathered he senses? But it is merely the reflexes of a once humbled swordsman who shadow-fences.
What words have I for that replayed scene...?
A moment of time that knew no reason or rhyme.
Now condemned to haunt the street downcast eyes open to concrete...He knew not of the fallen rain
that hailed his song as if the night had wept for an ancient wrong.

The music had taken him that day.

” It’s cold," the night seems to urge caringly.

"Come back to your place and rest. Use your strength as a nomad rations water...sparingly.”
No. Just one more mirage in the painted desert of lights...Where tourists ask me “how many miles?”
and people want to be unseen as themselves but seen for favourite styles.
And humanity stands like a soloist at a crossroads independent of the movements of bodies swayed by a statesman that is great for a good talker like shadows distancing themselves from the walker. 
He played the notes and sang the songs as if he was heir entrusted to a promethean fire.
A somnambulist’s walk in aftermath of battle, as if speaking wordlessly against the blare of horn and screech of tire.
Like a dance with the belle of one’s dreams where one doesn’t feel the floor...One last song of the night.
the ghosts of the street heard above the fading echoes of passerby’s feet chant.

 ” One more! One more!”

 His steaming sigh like waves to a distant shore…like a selkie’s love song to a muse on a mortal shore.
dark...intoxicatingly a soul that cannot distinguish death from sleep in the ghost’s consciousness that rises to answer to the moon he hears and feels the ancient’s tune illuminating the streets like an earthbound moon.

Revelers flushed with an age of immortality’s sense of power. Raise a mocking toast to the busker that midnight witching hour. The jester’s contempt for the knight but the shadow cannot exist without the light.

But he has gone...home? Where was he? Gone like a phantom pain of a lost love’s kiss.
A ghost then all long? Had he passed like a lost moment of defiance like a warrior hidden protectively by a king’s men in the haunted mist?
The smile faded over its glass. He knew then why one sang in the street and
the fallen glass shattered for the curse was traded. He understood like a punch what mattered.

A dual citizen of Ireland and the states, Greg Patrick is an Irish/Armenian traveller poet and the son of a Navy enlisted man.  He is also a former Humanitarian aid worker who worked with great horses for years and loves the wilds of Connemara and Galway in the rain where he's written many stories. Greg spent his youth in the South Pacific and Europe and currently resides in Galway, Ireland and sometimes the states.


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