Patrick’s Green Dragons

Out from the markets in Celestial darkness

Asteroids hurtle in showers of splintered ore

Plume away at angles like other people’s lives

Down here – from this ore, this strata of sealed cement

From this froth of simians, clamour and tropical armpit haze

Rise now the Green Dragons!

In a corporeal surge, so bright and so green

That they put us all in shadow

They tarnish our earrings, our bracelets

They make scrap metal of the sunlight that gets in

Here in the halls of Paddy’s Markets

The cabbage dangles like a pirate’s heart

The dragons roil around it, dignify it

In a calculus of whipping thunder

In a warm-blooded reptile fury of courtship

In the chimes and hiss of ceremony

And the grocers and the thieves and the transvestites

And the kebab peddlers and the Americans and the spoilt grooms

And the winos and the acrobats and the flautists

All whoop under the dragons and in a brown sea on land

This is how the world sees

The saucy, lightning Emissaries of Heaven


Will Swan


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