On the road outside Kinsale there is a sign
that marks the end of the Wild Atlantic Way.
If only Canute had known it would be so easy
to hold back the tide, a red line
through squiggles of blue and there you have it,
a convenient fold in the map,
skate-boarding in miniature,
just enough to catch a glimpse of the world beyond,
concertina of history pulled to full bellow
and, in every nook, a monk writing for his life,
every cranny, an earl waiting for the dark
clock of history to chime,
invite him to walk on with a practised speech,
sharpened sword and guidebook in treason.
Not for him the cold blow of the Atlantic,
the infinite coastline or the pirates
secreted in every crease. No, he accepts
the bookie’s view of history, discrete
choices, in-play betting and a battle-field
strewn with the victims of chance.