Archive for March 16th, 2020

Monday, 16 March 2020

Ceasefire by Simon Ó Faoláin

Come down, dismount your piebald pony,
Leave cloud of doubt and halo of fury,
And I’ll lay aside prejudice’s helmet.

Do you know me now, dark glowering man,
Or do we all look much the same in your eyes?
On the edge of Kilmallock you pulled a knife.

And although the point was turned on me,
It was as though you could not see,
It was as though you fought with shadows.

And although your hand controlled the hilt,
I felt like a surgeon observing a reflex,
For the knife was your answer to all your ills.

I never wish to deny free will,
But who can deny conditioning
Instils salivation in dogs and men?

Yet might both of us pull out of Pavlov’s disease
And see the face behind the mask,
No cloud or halo, no helmet or knife?

From: https://www.poetryinternational.org/pi/poem/22531/auto/0/0/Simon-O-Faolain/Ceasefire/en/tile

Date: 2008 (original in Irish); 2008 (translation in English)

By: Simon Ó Faoláin (1973- )

Translated by: Simon Ó Faoláin (1973- )