Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tír na nÓg



Tír na nÓg



To the west, beyond the curl
of the parchment’s edge
where no quill could draw it
no robot retina ensnare it
farther than any ship can sail
Tír na nÓg the land of the young
abides

where the wind is foaled from music,
the air a silver horn, sweet sighing
surrendering years, exiling illness,
ill thought, small spiny deed. No sorrow murks, 
nothing of this fouled world can cross except
the sprites of you and me, come 
with the dancing light upon our backs.

Tossed on the wild black glamored horse
to ride, let him gallop
beyond the waves of blood, while we cling
knotting together again
our mingled strands of breath
his glittered ornament,  
beginning to remember how to sing.

So long apart, so never found, beaded on
the opposite ends of the wind,  but there
I descry we’ll be together
as  trees are together,
bound fast at the root, limbs interlaced
when we fall feathery miles from the back of the stallion
onto that clouded land no eye can see.

After pain I’ll birth your peace
and place it pearling on your lashes, on my cheek
falling from the moonpool while you set
your sky colored star upon my brow.
Your eyes the grey of mountains will close
because no eyes are big enough
to watch what we can do in that land of mist.

I’ll call you brother just as speech
begins to leave me, sister
you’ll breathe me back in ragged whisper;
lips carved linear in scrimshaw kisses 
devour all the salt denials, the only hunger left
in that land of youth remembered  
where no difference can be measured
now between me and you.




June 2011


Posted for   Meeting the Bar   at dVerse Poets Pub
Victoria's prompt: Where in the World Am I? 
I wrote this about a year ago for One Shoot Sunday, and the idea of a poem reflecting a sense of place brought it back to mind. Apologies to those who've already read it.


Process Note: I've borrowed the concept of Tír na nÓg from Irish mythology, about which I know very little. My interpretation of it here is purely symbolic.


Originally Posted for   OneShootSunday  at the inimitable OneStopPoetry. I've removed most of the comments from back then to make it less tedious for new readers.

Image:Fanad Ireland, by MickHay on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons license






19 comments:

  1. You don't need to explain Tir na Nog to anyone named Shay! ;-)

    This is gorgeous, Witch. I felt every line. The second stanza, and the last two, especially stand out for me.

    Bali Hai, Tir na Nog....it must be the Season of Longing, yes?

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  2. Hedgewitch, it’s not easy to write a poem about youth, love, beauty (I don’t know the myth), and not be bound by anything trite or clichéd, but you’ve done it swimmingly. You had me with “where the wind is foaled from music,” such a perfect vision for the irrational physics of the imagined world. Also, “. . . pearling on your lashes” and “sky colored star” followed by those “eyes the grey of mountains” are just stellar. When I arrive at the final stanza, I am in love with life, and the possibility that love is total, all-encompassing, and I surrender.

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  3. Mythology is one of my great loves in life...wonderful to find it here...You work within the realm of myth beautifully and with skill Lady Miz Hedgewitch...all I can say is Thank You...

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  4. Idyllic in sound and conveying music for life, masterfully detailed. Diggin the passage below very much...
    "knotting together again
    our mingled strands of breath
    his glittered ornament,
    beginning to remember how to sing."
    Such a wonderful "beginning" when remembrance prompts beautiful song, or poetry in your case. Inspiring poem.

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  5. Tossed on the wild black glamored horse
    to ride, let him gallop
    beyond the waves of blood, while we cling
    knotting together again
    our mingled strands of breath
    his glittered ornament,
    beginning to remember how to sing...

    If I read nothing else today but this one stanza, I would consider my day complete.
    Beautiful evocation of a place of legend, all the better for being one of your own making.

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  6. "where the wind is foaled from music"

    There is so much beauty in that line!

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  7. This is what I want to find when my time comes too, beautiful tribute here, a veritable feast of wrods to go with a beautiful photograph

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  8. To west where the sun dies go I,
    to the land where the ears of faeries
    listen for the cries of Ireland hope

    Love the mist of myths and this tale of days just out the corner of any eye that seeks

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  9. hey i know this piece....smiles...tir na nog was also one of my fav irish pubs in raleigh NC as well....had a dang good shepherds pie...and some black stout...oh yeah back your verse...smiles...

    its a gorgeous piece...the second stanza has such imagery...but it is the next to last stanza that is my fav...the star on the brow is a cool image that sticks with me...

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  10. "No sorrow murks,
    nothing of this fouled world can cross except
    the sprites of you and me, come
    with the dancing light upon our backs."

    "After pain I’ll birth your peace
    and place it pearling on your lashes, on my cheek"

    Swoon

    I hope this is not mere fantasy or a world long gone. I would so like such a place this side of heaven.

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  11. Oh what a glorious write. I knew an Irish lass in Tofino who named her bed and breakfast Tir na Nog - her partner was a childlike man whose brain was injured in a car accident. She arrived on his path to take care of him, so I think perhaps his unending youth inspired the name. I especially held my breath during the "after pain I'll birth your peace" stanza......the "sky colored star" upon your brow and the eyes "the grey of mountains" closing. Spectacular writing, kiddo!

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  12. This has to be one of my favorites,Hedge. Just so beautiful. For me, everything about Ireland, the land of (half of) my ancesters whispers myth and magic. I hope that someday I will be able to visit, but in the meantime, you've allowed me a peek. And more verbs that I want to steal...foaled, wow.

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  13. This is a classic, no doubt about it. Its beauty takes my breath away. The notion that there are other worlds, other places that shimmer with joy and love neverending is always powerful, but imagining such life is only open to poets with your skills and vision. You have embodied this love in the very skin and bone of the land itself, this magical world where the images of nature that we see become the lovers' very selves. There is union here at such a profound level, it is to be hoped that death will fulfill all the joys that life and love have bequeathed us in time, but beyond time. Truly lovely.

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  14. You've brought the myth to life--if not that particular one, you've invented your own. Ireland was what came to mind when I first saw the picture and your beautiful description created the fiction and evoked the longing so well.

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  15. Delicious!

    where the wind is foaled from music, - and this comes just after the amazing opening couplet.

    I could spend all day reading poetry like this and still want more.

    This is fabulous!

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  16. It's a revelation,Joy! The beauty of youth is always something to be revered. As fittingly described, it's rich,vibrant,mysterious and young. Ever demanding and giving and a joy to have. Aptly described!

    Hank

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  17. we’ll be together
    as trees are together,
    bound fast at the root, limbs interlaced
    when we fall feathery miles from the back of the stallion
    onto that clouded land no eye can see... that is awesome...this is a truly magical weave...it's spiritual and so very earthy at the same time hedge...

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  18. "where the wind is foaled from music" ..."After pain I’ll birth your peace
    and place it pearling on your lashes" ...sigh....this is a master (mistress) piece, Joy...just beautiful x

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  19. foaled wind and racing black horses, breaths upon necks...this is SO SO SO SO GOOD! (did I mention is is good?) Sigh...I'm enthralled.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg