Culna Dear Don’t Come Any Nearer Me


You can never claim to own this tune,
But, with luck, it may come to own you
For brief seconds in the midst of playing
When everything else is stripped away
Except the bare skeleton of the notes,
That gradually you find a way to clothe
With emotions only music can express.

Your fingers no longer feel like your own,
You have become a servant, a medium,
Allowing a procession of ghosts to slip
Through the buttons of your accordion:
The hag with the golden sovereigns
Standing amid a white sea of bog cotton,
And the singer with a craggy Connemara face,
Closing his eyes in an American city to summon
The young lover tapping at the windowpane,
The girl chiding him, yet wanting him nearer,
Both caught up in the breathless love chase.


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