County Offally, Clonfinlough Stone, Monday, 25th July, 2022
‘Meadow of the Bright Lake’
“The Leanan Sidhe sucks the life-force
out of artists who in return for an early death
achieve immortality in their life’s work.”
Which sounds a bit like the muse.
“We may think of Sid and Nancy,
Kurt and Courtney,”
and possibly, even, Jim and Pamela?
Was this wild charge into the unreality
of reality prompted merely by the idea
of leaving votive offerings
in the cup-holes of the stone?
Shortly after but before we leave the field-of-the-stone,
one of our number stumbles across a frog,
hopping for the hedgerow…
“Amphibian – it can live both on land
and in the water?”
Nobody insists that the frog
should be kissed!
If Great Britain is the foetus for the first time
straightening its curled spine, silently stretching
freshly formed fingers and toes, then this country
is the heart, sequestered in its rib-cage of hills.
We are now cresting those hills and heading down
into the canopy of lush, broadly flounced leaves and
the pineapple-like trunks of clump after clump of
Montezuma trees, a paradise of parrots flying in flocks
and lone cockatoos but we are still only receiving hints
and veiled intimations of what is to come.
Jed is playing his church music and trying
to communicate some of its significance.
“The high notes are the spirit. The low notes the abyss.
Listen to the ‘high C’ soaring, it’s like… it’s like Jim
singing, ‘I can’t live through each slow century of your
moving.’... exactly the same sentiment. They only sing
this at certain times of the year!”
Jed can see I am struggling to get there…
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