Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Dundalk, Drogheda, Newgrange, Tara

On the Hill of Tara all four points
Stretch to far horizons.
The sheep are lords of all they survey,
And the mounds and gullies sing of former glories.
The tourists dance around the phallus
Singing of glories to come.

At Newgrange the inscrutible dead
Sleep the sleep of millennia,
Protecting the secrets of their strange carvings.
After so much labour,
Carting stones so many miles,
Rolled on makeshift logs
Lifted labouriously into place
So the sleepers within can catch the fleeting sun
To light their eternal darkness.

In every town there is a reminder
Of the days long gone
And of the days hardly gone -
The fight with the English,
The bombings, the murders,
The Protestant churches firmly locked.

Things grow and change,
The golden arches beside the Boyne,
The half built houses on every street
The "yes" and "no" to Europe at every junction,
The English papers, the European soccer,
The Chinese students walking the streets.
Time marches, the mysterious riddles
Are left to the tourists, and historians
And the passionate tour guide
Who nonetheless must go home sometime.

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