The poem 'Dingle Peninsula' was written about a beautiful area in the South of Ireland. On the beach, over 100 years ago, the bodies of Islanders who were caught in a storm were found washed up. They had been trying to make their way to the mainland.
down from the rising altar stone of
na Gorta Dubha spread below,
through the reed beds we go
to the wiry dune grass
where the bones that have travelled
make the beach white, the mind wide.
bodies who sought sanctuary from the storm,
delivered cold and sightless
given back when the waves tired
of their playthings
montbretia clinging to stone walls,
keeping its nobbly toes dry
wears a headdress, of closely cropped briars
black-beaded with the taste of summer
glorious in the autumn sun;
a larder of winter food and shelter,
a place behind which you might heap up a new field,
for a future generation.
I find the fellowship, of myself here
and all who have gone before me.
in this holy, West of Dingle peninsula
I find the same landscape
is cradle and grave,
knows the brooding, and the gathering,
the harvest, and the beach comb,
the storm, and its aftermath.
Lives like candle flames
shelter behind stone walls
from the onslaught;
each man rediscovers his own cave,
where he is companion to himself,
and only what he can carry.
Niall's poems have been published in The Examiner and most recently in The Stoney Thursday Book, thefirstcut, A handful of Stones, Carty’s Poetry Journal, Madrush, Outburst and others. He hopes to be remembered as a poet rather than a nice guy, but so far it is pretty much 50 /50. Niall blogs at dublinepost.blogspot.com/, and currently lives in Dublin, Ireland.
© Niall O'Connor 2012