To walk into the black night was like a descent
Into the stony places of the unconscious,
Into the shadowy corners of the Self,
Into the labyrinthine Hades of his fears.
It was right, he thought, so right
To face all his fears head on,
To walk into those dark places which might frighten
He heard the waters lap over the cold grey rocks,
The lone cry of a careworn curlew,
Felt the caress of the black breeze on his cheek
And the embrace of the intimate magic of the night.
There were no other walkers there in that dark
Where he walked alone but not abandoned.
He felt close to those who had gone before him –
His dead father was walking him by the hand.
In the shadows he thought he saw seals wink
From the lapping waves beyond the rocks
And slip away into the great grey embrace of water -
And like Oisín and Niamh Chinn Óir they did not look back.
Near the rusted railings he stopped and stared
Into the deep dark morass of memory
And let the past play in images in his mind
Till his soul fled away on the wings of a lone heron.
Lights like candles on a giant birthday cake
Welcomed the lone walker back from the pier.
In the black of the night he heard seabirds call
And the voices of other walkers across the harbour.