Connemara

by Sharon Ashton


You are wary, but still the land beguiles
and you dream of a little place here;
picture yourself cutting turf from St Patrick’s day
to dry out in time for Winter fires,
landing a catch in stone-splash shallows,
and keeping a few local ponies in your field. 
Ponies, some say, from Irish and Viking stock, others Irish
and Andalusian loosed from grounded Armada ships.
And sure, you’ll learn to remember the old ways, 
the old days, the days of filming ‘The Quiet Man’ 
when they taught that John Ford a thing or two.
But Blow-in, will you understand a land peopled
by so few living? A land of Famine ghosts 
building walls from nowhere to nowhere, 
and cutting up fields for a penny the yard?
A land of hills soft as horses’ flanks battling
hills that claw up through the soil like dragons?
A land of cottages without roofs and doors, waiting
for those who walked away to come home?

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Hear Sharon reading this poem by clicking the link below.

Connemara