Friday 10 March 2023



I have about an hour to write or not write 

a poem about the day I may or may not 

have encountered you at the Chester Beatty Library.

Encountered is perhaps too strong a word.

Brushed shoulders with, held a door for,

 or vice versa,observed a middle aged man,

possibly making notes with a lead pencil 

in a pocket sized notebook-spiral or hardback

perhaps even moleskine with magnetic close and pen loop

and maybe a bookmark ribbon or two,

as you stood in that dim lit display of Leonardo's Codex Leicester,

touching screen to turn a page,sepia ink on linen, marvelling like me

at his busy margins, as you put it later,

his twenty-six experiments of placing objects in water,

or his sketches of bridges and bubbles and the fall of a drop of water.

You wouldn't have noticed me

for I was on a mission for facts, facts, facts.

But you, poised over the Codex, your head a whirlpool of possibility,

a poet in full flung fantasy, imagining Leonardo-

"his marvellous head resting in his hands,

wondering if water might exist on the moon."*

How could I have missed that?

Quote from Billy Collins poem Dublin in his book Whale Day and other poems

 I wrote an article for Ireland's Own on Codex Leicester-  August ,2007, Vol 5,093

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