I am a man in a black bowler hat,
showing my back to the world.
If I turn, an apple blocks my face.
My first glimpse of art was in a churchyard,
so close it is to death.
I listened to the silence of that place.
Sometimes, laid out, she elevates behind me
as I walk the towpath.
Stiff-necked, I do not look around.
My art has no laws of gravity,
but a woman’s chestnut hair falls to the ground
and bowler-hatted men are falling rain.
I have seen boulders floating in the sky,
and every day a cloud comes in my door.
Baguettes, instead of clouds, go drifting by.
In woods, between the horse’s head and rider,
a vista slips, slim as the trunk of a tree.
What’s visible hides what’s also visible.
The sea is one with what is not the sea.
by Ciaran O'Driscoll
from Surreal Man
Pighog Press, Brighton, 2006