I see my mind as a tapestry woven through with memories, dreams and thoughts.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Monday, 26 September 2011

Monday Muse

From 'Ireland in Poetry' edited by Charles Sullivan


M I C H A E L L O N G L EY ( B O R N 1939 )

Poems in the palm of the hand, life-lines.
Fingers tapping the ridge of the shin-bone.
The bridge of the nose, fingerprints, breath:
Then the silvery skin of the lifeless,
Ivy increasing the secrets, the answers —
The physician's power in cold dwellings.
Candles behind this veil of synonyms.
A blind man's lovely wife and signature.

There is a stone such as this a few steps from the house in which we used to live, in Ireland. The story of the stone goes like this:

A man found the stone lying in a hedgerow and thought to himself, "Now that would make an excellent doorstep into my cottage. Alone, or with help, he dragged the stone down the hill and placed it ourside the door to his cottage. Well pleased, he retired to bed for the night.
The following morning, on looking out, he discovered that the stone had gone. Angry, he set off to find the thief. He walked back up the hill and, to his astonishment, found the stone lying exactly where he had found it.
He ran in fear, back down the hill.
The story goes that it belonged to a fairy princess and that he had disturbed her resting place.

In fact, the stone belongs to a prince, or person of reknown at that time. This can be read from the markings on the stone. They are called 'Ogham Stones'.

The stone in the photograph is of the Dunlough Ogham Stone
(Commissioner of Works, Ireland)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday Snippet

Photograph from 'The beauty of Ireland' published by Gill and Macmillan


L E A N Ni C H U I L L E A NA ( B O R N 1 9 4 2)

Missing from the map, the abandoned roads
Reach across the mountain, threading into
Clefts and valleys, shuffle between thick
Hedges of flowery thorn.
The grass flows into tracks of wheels,
Mowed evenly by the careful sheep;
Drenched, it guards the gaps of silence
Only trampled on the pattern day.
And if, an odd time, late
At night, a cart passes
Splashing in a burst stream, crunching bones,
The wavering candle hung by the shaft
Slaps light against a single gable
Catches a flat tombstone
Shaking a nervous beam in a white face
Their arthritic fingers
Their stiffening grasp cannot
Hold long on the hillside —
Slowly the old roads lose their grip.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Sky Watch Friday

This is one of the round towers that are prevalent in this part of Ireland. Built by the monks, they were a refuge when under attack. There is a door high up, which they entered by a ladder that they pulled in behind them. They took anything of value with them and remained there until the danger had passed. The amzement of them is that they are so intricately and perfectly structured.
This one is beside the cahthedral and the church of St. Kevin, rising to dominate the skyline.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sunday Snippet

St. Kevin's Church, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

St. Kevin was born in the year 498 and died in the year 618

This piece is taken from Wikipedia, to explain the photographs above:

His life is not well known, as no contemporaneous material exists. His Latin vita maintains that he was descended from a royal line and was related to the Dál Messin Corb. He was given the name Coemgen, which means "gentle one", was baptized by Cronan, and educated by St Petroc during that saint's sojourn in Ireland. He lived in solitude at Disert-Coemgen for seven years, sleeping on a dolmen (now known as "Saint Kevin's Bed") perched on a perilous precipice, that an angel had led him to, and later established a church for his own community at Glendalough. This monastery was to become the parent of several others. Eventually, Glendalough, with its seven churches, became one of the chief pilgrimage destinations in Ireland. His legend says that he lived to the age of 120.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Fuchsias for Friday

A brief line to say that I am back home from Ireland and to give you fuchsias, whilst I do a 'catch-up' on everyone's blog posts.

Besides the cow and the celtic cross, symbols of Ireland, fuchsias epitomise this land. They speak out, with their waxy brilliance and vibrant colours, from the hedgerows at this time of the year.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Friday, 9 September 2011

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday Snippet

I have chosen this snippet from 'The Plough and the Stars' - a play by Seán O'Casey.
The play deals with ordinary people caught up in the 'Rising' in Ireland in the early 1900s and the First World War. They live in a tenement in Dublin. The characters are strong and well portrayed. They are trying to make sense of it all as it happens around them.
At the end of the play, one question still demands of us an answer:
'Is there anybody goin', Mrs. Clitheroe, with a tither o' sense?'

Here are two of the puzzled characters:

'Fluther. We're all Irishmen, anyhow; aren't we?
The Covey (with hand outstretched, and in a professional
Look here, comrade, there's no such thing as an
Irishman, or an Englishman, or a German or a Turk;
we're all only human bein's. Scientifically speakin', it's
all a question of the accidental gatherin' together of
mollycewels an' atoms.
Fluther. Mollycewels an' atoms! D'ye think I'm goin' to
listen to you thryin' to juggle Fluther's mind with
complicated cunundhrums of mollycewels an' atoms?
The Covey (rather loudly). There's nothin' complicated
in it. There's no fear o' the Church tellin' you that
mollycewels is a stickin' together of millions of atoms o'
sodium, carbón, potassium o' iodide, etcetera, that,
accordin' to th' way they're mixed, make a flower, a fish,
a star that you see shinin' in th' sky, or a man with a
big brain like me, or a man with a little brain like you!
Fluther (more loudly still). There's no necessity to be
raisin' your voice; shoutin's no manifestin' forth of a
growin' mind.'

All quotes are from 'The Plough and the Stars' by Seàn O'Casey, edited by Seàn Moffatt

Friday, 2 September 2011

Sky Watch Friday

Thank you all for leaving comments whilst I was 'off blog'.

The two tiny kittens were found by a friend and I, dumped in the rubbish bins at a few days old, so they were hand reared - oh the night feeds! - and now are with one of my daughters. They are fully grown, and still beautiful.

Here is the moon, sailing the sky.