Monthly Archives: July 2014

FACING WEST

IMG_0116The grey stone gable
Is the last vestige
Of the cottage on the headland.
Nettles grow thick
At its lichen-covered feet.
It faces west
Toward the sunset,
Toward America.

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CONNEMARA

IMG_0129Who knew you could fall in love
All over again?
I’d gone my separate way
Without too many backward glances,
Just the odd intense
Pang in the gut
At the scent of seaweed on salt air,
Or the whiff of ladies bedstraw
Crushed underfoot.
And yet the sight of a stone wall curving over a hillock
Could trick the eye momentarily,
Sending memories coursing through the blood.

Who would have believed
A week in the coast guard station
Above Bun Owen pier
Would set the heart reeling with delight
At the soft haze of the Twelve Bens and Maumtrasna
Ringing the bay?

The wooing was gentle
As the rain.
Small things sent to delight me—
Posies of wild flowers,
The keening cry of oyster catchers
skimming the waves,
A pocketful of shells,
The sun setting in stunning bursts of light
Worthy of a baroque cathedral
Over Slyne head.
But there it was, rekindled again,
A love to end all seasons.

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BOG OAK

Maumtrasna Mountains, Co. Mayo. Ireland

The oak root
Stopped me in my tracks,
Rearing out of the bog,
A creature of fantasy.
Sentry from a long gone forest
Mowed down by ice-age
And time,
Buried under eons of sphagnum moss
Rush and sedge,
Silt from mountain streams—
sandstone, granite, the odd fleck of gold.
All these and more swaddled its limbs,
Blocking out oxygen
Bathing it in tannic acid,
Preserving it:
Six-limbed,
One-eyed,
Bog monster.

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Maumtrasna Mountains, Co. Mayo. Ireland