I wanted to believe
I could capture some of its essence.
A tourist with a pen
instead of a lens
to hem in all the experience
that unfolded before me
the green fields of her myth.
A modern moment presents fragments,
and they fell together, seamless
while fingers moving screen less
will attempt to speak of her width,
all that emerald pastureland
that follows ancient walls
until it falls over cliffs and into the sea.
If only I could recall the trajectory of travel,
from the peopled east, to the rugged west,
where sheep seem to outnumber
all else, perched there impossibly
on some promontory,
dotted in my memory
of hills we walked together.
The tranquility of a moment’s
sunset I could only begin
to capture in words, the color
as it merged with the North Atlantic
and towards bewitching us fully.
Slow down says the river
with its eternal murmur
under quiet bridges
that have channeled her
and held the weight of our ancestors.
If only I could recall each remnant from their past,
set in ivy and half collapsed in stone
where bats and crows
now circle forgotten towers
like smoke from the chimneys
of obscured homes
left to the wild and alone,
reclaimed inch by inch, year by year
in a seamless embrace.
In passing you catch the trace
of an old peat fire
and imagine the warmth of the hearth
that once held together
the pain and the laughter,
all the sorrowful banter
that time abandons
to the cold shadows of famine
slanting like a cross
on an earth-filled floor.
As you walk from a venerable pub
into the country dark,
you’ll listen for the subtle chime
of the grandfather clock at Foxmount
to guide past spirits that do not sleep,
past walls that will not keep
out of our imagination
that which lies on the other side of the veil.
Blurred in a half moon’s glare through trees,
the land steeped in legend,
in banshees baring teeth
what screams during the time we do not speak
but only seek to feel our way through the palpable dark
pressing in on the edges of thought,
if only one could capture what we sought of its essence
with a hurried pen,
only then we’d begin to reveal
some of the magic of a subtle presence
holding it all together.
Each experience, perhaps better to be left
burnt and entrenched
in their own immutable imprints,
conscious or unconscious,
dim or brilliant,
they’ll proceed to play a part
like voices in the art
like choices that will start
to branch out from these sturdy roots
and reveal a truth so long hidden.