IRELAND, THE EMERALD AND I

Reposting this oldie about Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day

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And again I found myself, of a morning, that morning,
on a winding road, once more, meandering like a stream,
before it opened up to unveil a vast expanse of stillness
where brook and lake entwined, where rugged roads
wandered into wilder woods and the light, that sat upon mossy mountain,
reflected the break of another boorishly boisterous day in a landscape
where Yeats, having left the Mauds of his world to fight the battle
without him, had climbed nightly The Thoor Ballylee to find rest, and so,
that morning, I revelled in what it meant to be connected to these often harsh,
sometimes barren but seldom anything less than breathtaking lands.
 
Immense clouds hanging on the horizon, fertile lands out front,
awash with the 40 shades and a silence, amid so much
awe-inspiring nature, that the Emerald in her name seemed so justified.
 
And yet, as if forever ingrained and known, but for a moment forgotten,
from somewhere deep inside resurfaced the notion that it was not these lands
that I missed but the memory of laughter that blew above these lands
on the breeze that crossed fields of verdant greens, that skirted over grass
waiting to be grazed on and found rest in trees that longed for lovers to kiss beneath.
 
And then, as normal as the nodding of the cap to the passing stranger
along the roadside, I was taken back to those lucidly liquid days shining
from my youth when the patriotic spirit of a nation, so small but spirited,
more laughed with than laughed at, doused itself in shamrocks
and drowned itself merrily in spirits of an altogether other nature,
a time when neighbours knew each other like family
and a new face in town was merely a friend we did not yet know…
 
And there I stood, home again, spun on that same laughing breeze
into the past and I saw before me the Me of today reflected
in my childhood form of yesterday with teddy in one hand
and Tayto’s in the other, smiling amid laughter I had heard
but was far too young to understand in a land that I’ve fled so far from,
swept up and away on other breezes, and yet, however high I fly
or however much I roam, I never seem to feel too far
From that Fair Green Isle called home.

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All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

First 4 photographs in Skerries and Lusk, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Bottom photographs at Ailwee Caves and along the shoreline in Dingle, Ireland 

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9 thoughts on “IRELAND, THE EMERALD AND I

  1. Ali Isaac

    That’s the second time I’ve seen Skerries in a blog post in the last 24 hours. I used to live there and walked along that road almost every day. I live in Co Cavan now, but still remember it fondly. Beautiful words and images. 😊

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