“Love! His Affections Do Not That Way Tend …” by David Butler

David Butler


… unless it was love of the bottle. Word was
he’d drunk the family farm, acre 
by acre, till a neighbour took the shell 
of the house for a shelter. The smell
of him: soiled coat and pants, face 
rain-cudgelled and ogre-fierce; he’d 
shout after those that taunted, loose
foul words from whiskey stupors, spittle
white lava round a cavernous mouth.
He pitched for a while the bones of a camp
in a copse, found it kicked asunder,
found it burned out. His corpse 
was dragged from the Dargle last winter; 
drowned pulling his dog from the water.

from Rattle #79, Spring 2023
Tribute to Irish Poets


David Butler: “Poetry is most interesting when it engages the auditory imagination, so that I try to evoke, using the sounds and rhythms of English as it is spoken in Ireland (and, occasionally, the Irish language itself), what might be termed acoustic portraits of local themes.” (web)

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