by Andrew Motion
for Craig Raine
Driving at dusk on the steep road
north to the airport, Look back,
you say, The finest view of Belfast,
and point, proud of your choice to stay.
How clear the rows of streetlamps show
which way we came. I trace them slope
by slope through marshland slipping down
to lanes, and find the roofs again,
their stern geographies of punishment
and love where silence deepens under rain.
Each sudden gust of light explains itself
as flames, but neither they, nor even
bombs redoubled on the hills tonight
can quite include me in their fear.
What does remains invisible, is lost
in curt societies whose deaths become
revenge by morning, and whose homes
are what they pity most.
I watch the moon above them, filling rooms
with cut-out politics, tho...