by Paul Muldoon

Plants that grow in the dark have been developed
through gene-splicing, in which light-producing
bacteria from the mouths of fish are introduced to
cabbage, carrots and potatoes.

-The National Enquirer

More often than not he stops at the headrig to light
his pipe
and try to regain
his composure. The price of cauliflowers
has gone down
two weeks in a row on the Belfast market.

From here we can just make out
a platoon of Light
Infantry going down
the road to the accompaniment of a pipe-
band. The sun glints on their silver-
buttoned jerkins.

My uncle, Patrick Regan,
has been leaning against the mud-guard
of the lorry. He levers
open the bonnet and tinkers with a light
wrench at the hose-pipe
that's always going down.

Then he himself goes down
to bleed oil into a jerry-can.
My father slips the pipe
into his scorch-marked
breast pocket and again makes light
of the trepanned cauliflowers.

All this as I listened to two lovers
repeatedly going down
on each other in the next room . . . 'light
of my life . . . ' in a motel in Oregon.
All this. Magritte's

and the pipe-
bomb. White Annetts. Gillyflowers.
are you grieving? My father going down
the primrose path with Patrick Regan.
All gone out of the world of light.

All gone down
the original pipe. And the cauliflowers
in an unmarked pit, that were harvested by their own light.