Dawn watchers exhale
steamy breath as lick
of sunlight passes
through a small opening
creeps down
a stone passage on
winter’s equinox bathes
in solstice light
the tomb that echoes
with faith and ritual

Five thousand years
the stones have held
the secrets of unknown
builders to capture
the wild stallion of the sun
unfettered marker of
the season when
to draw forth the plow
when to sow and reap
and how to hope

Homage paid with
stone hammer flint
picking swirling impressions into
rock tributes placed
offerings of bead and bone
in crevices carved
granite basins to hold
charred remains of
those that had the gift to see
the future bring prosperity

To connect living to dead
life to death light to darkness
sacrifice frost on
early morning grass shivering
attendants brown cow bellowing
in acknowledgement of
steam rising off hot blood in
cold winter sun to heat
the earth and draw
the soul of a new year forward.

"Newgrange Eingang Stein" by I, Clemensfranz. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Newgrange Eingang Stein” by I, Clemensfranz. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –




15 thoughts on “PALACE OF THE BOYNE – Brú na Bóinne

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    Though some of my ancestors were Irish, I’ve never visited Ireland, and now may never do so. Thank you for taking us there. I’ve read the info you provided and your poem so full of sensual imagery and had a wonderful time imagining and dreaming this morning. Thanks again!

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Cynthia, glad you enjoyed the experience, and hope you do make it to Ireland one day. It’s a very special place.

  2. lexborgia

    I’ve been there – 97. Made me think about the evolution of man. Made me thirsty, too. Needed a pint after all that hard work. There’s also a museum back down the hill, I believe. I plan on returning some day for the solstice (5yr waiting list!!). Very intense, your poem, brought it rushing all back.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thanks Lex. I haven’t been there in years–not since they glammed it up. I was lucky enough to visit as a child when they were still excavating. Though I’m sure it’s lovely now, it had a special primeval magic back then.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Laurent. I’m always amazed by the feats of architecture engendered by the power of belief.

  3. charissagrace

    Hi Mel…as always I found reading this delish.

    I do have some ideas about it, if you are interested and/or if it sorta still scratches you…but think that the sharing could happen off line.

    and no worries if it’s perf right now.

    LOVED the topic more than anything else…especially right now as things turn to the warmest…remembering the coldest.

  4. peakperspective

    Your gift for words, Melissa, always leaves me with this insatiable desire for more because they put my feelings about certain magical places into fluid, gossamer poetry.
    I have already printed out two of your poems and put them into different jacket pockets of mine–for these are specific coats I wear when I’m going to a place that I know I will want to read your poetry while experiencing the physical.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Shelley, I’m almost at a loss for words! Us writers–and I consider your blog an awesome, entertaining, skilled piece of work (can’t wait to read your upcoming book!)–toil away in our dens, frequently doubting the ability of our work to resonate. This comment makes it all worthwhile. Thank you. All the best and happy writing, Melissa


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