The Wounded Otter

by Michael Hartnett - translated from the Irish by the Author
From 20th Century Irish poems selected by Michael Longley. Published by Faber and Faber.

A wounded otter on a bare rock a bolt in her side,
stroking her whiskers stroking her feet.

Her ancestors told her once that there was river,
a crystal river, a waterless bed.

They also said there were trout there
fat as tree-trunks and kingfishers
bright as blue spears -
men without cinders in their boots,
men without dogs on leashes.

She did not notice the world die nor the sun expire,
She was already swimming at ease in the magic crystal river.

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Mind is the closest thing to our Reality...Be careful how you use it. Businessman, yogi, teacher, addicted to laughing...