I’m leaving for the next few days for a trip to Northern Ireland. I’ll be back here on the 22nd, after I finish my work.

In this poem, I took the phrases that appear in bold type from various websites and added my own words in between. This exercise sort of/kind of came from a book of poetry exercises called “Wingbeats.”

What are they planning
for five days in Belfast?
The political situation has improved substantially since the days of The Troubles.
Such a quaint name for such violence.
“Create your perfect day out,”
the website says. In spring the fields will be full of
flax flowers,
bright blue in a land known for green.

Northern Ireland is complex,
as is the issue of citizenship and identity.

We will visit the grave of St. Patrick,
a saint for all seasons.
You can impress Catholics and Protestants (probably not at the same time).
So raise your glass, laugh heartily, say nothing.
They only turn around when they like
what they hear and wish to declare an interest.

Think not on the disaster that precipitated your trip.
Titanic is a globally recognised brand.
Keep your eyes open for
spooks are undermining peace in Northern Ireland.
But MAKE no mistake about it
you are going.