Setting Out Ireland, 500 AD He sings this: wicker boat covered with skins, light among rocks and out onto seafoam. Swans overhead follow each other north past the far edge of ocean. They know they’ll find land there. He used to trade without speaking. Men offered oil, wine, amber. He countered—hunting dogs, wool, his beautiful slave. Now he owns nothing. Who is he since he buried his sword and shield, his silver bowl embossed with the story of Christ and the story of Venus? He takes bread for a journey, steps into a rudderless, oarless boat. He may come to an island and live there, a hermit, or end with the grandeur of nothing, the last bit of bread. He sings this: Water my desert. My wicker boat. Swans fly. I follow.