As hare – whiskers taut, eyes bulging –
he scours the mainland
in the grey hour of evening
when demons go searching for currency.
Sitting sentinel on day’s shore-line,
grabbing at the seen and the half-seen,
reining in phantasms,
deciphering the commotions of molecules,
he senses, suddenly, a juddering in the air
from around some looming presence
– an approaching darkness, darker than night –
and an ice-bolt hits him.
With the flesh creeping along his flanks,
he kicks back his hind legs
and bounds through the tussocks,
to the church in the hollow.
The bell’s baleful clonk, strange at this hour,
draws shadowy figures out of the night
into a bedraggled huddle
standing anxiously in the sanctuary of the church.
Féichín, with one last tug on the rope,
and hare’s wild gaze in his eyes,
turns to them gravely
to announce the arrival of Satan on Omey.
And on that ominous note, happy new year.