Nothing can explain this adventure – let’s say a quirk
of fortune steered us together – we made our covenants,
began this odyssey of ours, by hunch and guesswork,
a blind date where foolish love consented in advance.
No my beloved, neither knew what lay behind the frontiers.
You told me once you hesitated: A needle can waver,
then ﬁx on its pole; I am still after many years
bafﬂed that the needle’s gift dipped in my favour.
Should I dare to be so lucky? Is this a dream?
Suddenly in the commonplace that ﬁrst amazement seizes
me all over again – a freak twist to the theme,
subtle jazz of the new familiar, trip of surprises.
Gratuitous, beyond our fathom, both binding and freeing,
this love re-invades us, shifts the boundaries of our being.
– Micheal O’Siadhail, ‘Out of the Blue’, in Poems 1975–1995: Hail! Madam Jazz and A Fragile City (Bloodaxe: Newcastle upon Tyne, 1999), 124.