The Gulf of Araby

(Katell Keineg)

From the album Rarities

If you could fill a vale with shells from Killiney’s shore and sweet-talk in a tongue that is no more. If wishful thoughts could bridge the gulf of Araby between what is, what is, what is and what can never be.

If you could hold the frozen flow of New Hope Creek and hide out from the one they said you might meet. If you could unlearn all the words that you never wanted heard. If you could stall the southern wind that’s whistling in your ears you could take what is, what is, what is to what can never be.

One man of seventy whispers free at last. Two neighbours who are proud of their massacres. Three tyrants torn away in a winter’s month. Four prisoners framed by a dirty judge. Five burned with tyres. Six men still inside and seven more days to shake at the great divide. The gulf of Araby.

Well, we would plough and part the earth to bring you home. We would harvest every miracle ever known. If they laid out all the things that these ten years want to bring, we would gladly give them up to bring you back to us. Oh, there is nothing we would not give to kiss you and believe we could take what is, what is, what is to what can never be.

One man of seventy whispers not free yet. Two neighbours who make up, knee-deep in their dead. Three tyrants grab the reins in the summer’s heat. Four prisoners lost in the fallacy. Five, on my life. Six, I’m dead inside and seven more days to shake at the great divide. The gulf of Araby.