AN ISLAND FOR CITIZEN PROCUSTES

Submitted by AWL on 24 July, 2008 - 9:41 Author: Sean Matgamna

AN ISLAND FOR CITIZEN PROCUSTES
It happens often: "You? (They mean to cut)
"No Irishman!" My politics don't fit:

The island is the nation: not "them", "it."
Folk? No — plain, lake, and rock! But you must not
Arraign these dancers of the communal strut,
Or wash old blood out of your eyes, or audit
The soundings from the suppurating pit,
Or look to Tone — dry bones, stomped underfoot.
"West Brit: not your identity or birth
Or inbred love of the Gael tells who you are
Or names your place: strait politics en-girth
In-gather: we define, and we debar!"
The real is cut to fit a false design,
Grown monstrously unreal, then malign.

------------
[In the old Greek tale, Procrustes, a crazy
innkeeper, murdered his lodgers trying
to fit them exactly to his beds.
The short he stretched on a rack to elongate them;
the tall he chopped down to his preferred
size, ripping off feet or head.]

(SO: 11-12-92)