Viewed from above, the “Emerald Isle” is indeed very, very green. Unfortunately, from a conservation point of view, the lush, uniform grassland that dominates our 21st-century landscape is the wrong shade of green. Continue reading “Bringing the Meadows Back to Life”
Seeds strewn on eager soil
seem to die into dust
dissipate into air
over the meadows.
Seeds burst open
creeping green stems
stretch advancing out
covering the ground.
The sky is clear tonight;
late frost sparkles the rushes, casting back
the light of distant suns
The moon, full as a silver thruppence,
shines the trackless grass pure white.
No shadow moves but one.
Lopsided loping leather-horn
crouch back, old-woman-wise, she comes.
This is her world, and yet
she does not sleep.
How many men climbed up this field – and saw the land as we do now
How many families joined them – in the settlement upon the brow
A place of safety on a hill – with Druid stones above the rill
That marks the place where once there stood – a Celtic fort
I reclined by the river in borrowed chair
and while the breeze off the meadow ruffled my hair,
Frankie amused and regaled us with tales of the hay
and how it used to be “won” way back in the day.
Anecdotes, amusing, informative, yet sometimes so sad:
how day-to-day life was lived in times that went bad.
He pushed the empty dinner plate away
Knife and fork lay respectfully side by side
And picked up the child’s blue stocking-filler flute
Huge hands gripped where small hands fit
Fingers swollen fat as cows teats at evening milking
Ooze blood from countless thorn and briar lacerations
Each knuckle bent; etched deep with wrinkles as a thinker’s brow
I wrote the following two short poems recalling memories of my Aunt Tessie and Uncle Charlie. A sister and brother of my father’s they lived in a thatched cottage at the end of Tempo Main Street in County Fermanagh. They were the last to live in the cottage where my grandmother and grandfather had raised fourteen children, seven boys and seven girls, born from the mid-1890’s to 1919. Continue reading “Tessie and Charlie”
A lot has been written about place, the importance of it in our hearts and souls. We all come from somewhere. The places of our childhood are indelibly pressed into our psyche. Fields are particular places, defined by the boundary hedges around them. When we ‘go into’ a field that it gives us a strong sense of having left one space and entered into another. It gives off its own ambience; as with people, we relate to each field in a particular way.
In the autumn of 2015 I found myself on a poetic pilgrimage, following the call to Ireland’s biggest spoken word & poetry event, Dublin’s Lingofest. Having attended the previous year as a newcomer to the idea of spoken word, I had come prepared. I wasn’t alone. Continue reading “A Brief History of The Thing Itself”
To say things had been tight, lately, wasn’t so much putting it mildly as telling downright lies. There hadn’t been an order in weeks; not since the firestorm, when the bullets came, like mini bombs on the wind.