Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In Ireland

Gary and Beth, with the Blasket Islands behind us -

Where every cove has a name
where every field has a name
we walk the "god-trodden"mountains
who are the dark birds
what is the yellow shrub
where every river has a spirit and
all wells are holy
from Tralee into the clouds
older than rock our
first day on earth

some other wet-weather
sung-over place
near a river
"It was long ago
if time means anything
long long ago" (Padraic Fallon)
limestone karst leads us
into clouds, into wind the
church of the ruined light
we are older than stone

fields rising into cloud, sheep
coming down the hill
coming down to
land where we
meet the rain of the day

circle fort in the field
leave flowers, leave flowers
Beltaine fires and a clear sky
leave flowers, touch stone

sink now into the peat
sink now, and sleep,
let the stones sing
over me

Gary Lawless

Beth Leonard photo - on the Burren

"low lie the fields of Athenry
where once we watched
the small free birds fly
our love was on the wing
we had dreams and songs to sing
it's so lonely round
the fields of Athenry"

Beth Leonard photo with Siobhan Lawless at the Lawless Family's Foods of Athenry"

"He was Lawless by name, Lawless by nature.
He was trouble right from the start"
Christy Moore

While in Ireland I gave a poetry reading in Dingle, at Dick Mack's Pub, as a part of the Feile na Bealtaine, on April 30, 2016. To view the short reading, in two parts, go here and here

Following in the footsteps of friends:

Here is Nanao Sakaki in Ireland:
Magic Pouch

On pilgrimage
to holy mountain Croagh Patrick
on Ireland's west coast
I found my magic pouch missing.

from Guatemala, some years ago
a black, white and purple cotton pouch
arrived and attached itself to my waist.

inside the pouch -
an Irish five pound note
an army knife
a fountain pen
a magnifying glass
a pair of sunglasses

to buy fish & chips for two persons
Irish money came yesterday.

poet Allen Ginsberg gave me the army knife
in New York City 1988.
It stayed with me as a good friend like Allen.

agile and sharp as an old star
the fountain pen, my soul, wrote many poems.

boundless chain of life -
with magnifying glass I inspected insect eggs,
flower seeds and the future of our galaxy.

the sunglasses were great for looking
into a rainbow, a sundog
& above the sundog... another rainbow.

Now the time is ripe.
I dedicate you all to Mt. Croagh Patrick.
you are gone...good luck!

Nanao Sakaki, Autumnal Equinox, 1993

and here is Gary Snyder, in Ireland:

Icy Mountains Constantly Walking
(for Seamus Heaney)

Work took me to Ireland
a twelve-hour flight.
The river Liffy
ale in a bar,
so many stories
of passions and wars -
a hilltop stone tomb
with the wind across the door.
Peat swamps go by:
people of the ice age.
Endless fields and farms
the last two thousand years.

I read my poems in Galway
just the chirp of a bug
and flew home thinking
of literature and time.

The serried rows of books
in the Long Hall at Trinity
the ranks of stony ranges
above the ice of Greenland.

Gary Snyder 1999

1 comment:

Seamus Gourley said...

Gary and Beth,
Thank you for sharing this blogspot--Gary's beautiful words and Beth's fantastic photos.
I've been enjoying them in my backyard as I smoke this cigar, appropriately from Nicaragua(as opposed to the Honduran one I also possess) with my cat, Sorin, at my feet.
The sun had set and it was too dark to read the ARC's I had with me, so I picked up my phone and discovered your blog. As I read I was being serenaded by musicians in a yard behind me and a few houses over, fiddlers, singing Appalachian songs, Amazing Grace, and Whiskey in a Jar. It added to the magic.
As more of a prose man, I find it easier to appreciate the full value of poetry when I see it performed---it was a pleasure to see your birthday reading in Dingle and I wonder if there are more videos of you reading?
I was also moved by the essay you wrote on the power of relics. I especially liked the jump you made from Saints relics to environmental relics. This got me thinking about other animal powers that are used as medicine--rhino horn, antlers, bear bile, tiger blood--I suppose these count as relics, but the creatures used are being exploited, not revered. Please excuse my rambling thoughts, they are being fueled only by an iced coffee, not the Negroni I had planned to mix.
Thanks again,
I look forward to seeing you in about a month.
Ps--for some reason, my son's name is popping up as the commenter, but I don't know how to change it. Seems appropriate.