Martello Tower

july has been a month of forts …
(i write out my self-imposed exile)
from central park to sandy cove
belgrade’s citadel to old dubrovnik
(but maybe now i’ll write a modern
poem disregard historical valour)
i like the way joyce twisted facts
made buck mulligan & the other one
appear more evil than they truly were
(although there’s something of deceit
in that as well of malicious intents
behind that sorrowful eye patch …)
i prefer the fort that’s crumbling
whose original enemy remains unclear
the one that oscar wilde’s father
had a hand in shoring up on the
aran islands its stones sprawling
now over acres of tourist-stamped
ground mystical as the ancients
(napoleon never did invade ireland)
& now the martello tower’s a museum
but dubrovnik still remembers bombs
medieval chic … where is history
hiding now? the pigeon squats in
the shade picking at stones in the
hope of a stray pistahcio shell …
likewise the cameras line up with
the tower in their trigger sights &
postcards have replaced the living
meanings & reasons – the artefact
(as the unreal reconstructed world)

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