I saw you in the Burren,
forlorn footprints behind limestone boulders
flowering impossible purple borders
along the edge of the sea.
You led me through the mist with whispers.
I saw you at Bishop’s Quarter Ballyvaughan
covered in ivy,
you reminded me of a song that escaped memory,
of lyrics half-obscured but suggestive
of something that could not be ignored,
of knowledge that leads me through
the far side of the portal at Poulnabrone
where we momentarily aligned
like a passage of light
on the shortest day of winter.
On the Hill of Tara
I saw you dancing around the coronation stone.
You were temporal as cloud shadow,
translucent as a feather,
bounding over burial mounds,
your light shot like arrows
from this epicenter of interlocking barrows.
I saw you at death’s doorway,
bolted shut outside the walls of Galway
near the spot where Lynch executed his own son.
I felt your hands cold as stone,
your voice windblown the sound of crows
as they bellow through empty churchyards .
I saw you at Muckross,
placing Yew branches under Celtic crosses.
You were not lost in that mystical forest
but stoked to a subtle presence
cloistered in the surroundings,
framed by the mountains,
reflected in lake waters
where all our offerings were consecrated
before they fell in an ancient well.
I saw you 8km from Dungarvan
where the River Dalligan meets the sea
and every stone on the sloping land
seems to have been placed by your own hand
in another lifetime.
Further back at Ballinalacken
towers crumbled under the weight of outsiders,
like the light in mottled vistas,
where the countryside rose to meet you,
twisting all its roads and billowing smoke
from the chimneys of tiny villages
to welcome you in from an estrangement
you seemed to wear like a rain garment,
until familiars and fires removed you from these elements
and welcomed you in from the cold.