Recently got back from riding the Wild Atlantic Way in the west of Ireland (2000 miles on 2 wheels) with my partner, Chantelle Smith. Here’s the first poem from that inspiring adventure…
The Stars Over Connemara
I sit, finally still,
beneath the bejewelled canopy,
every constellation freshly pinpricked
in the velvet of night.
I breathe it in, gulp down galaxies,
as a falling star’s bright signature
seals the day with a wish.
Dawn, and the bells ring out over Clifden
a little groggy after a session at Lowry’s,
soft days, rocky fields,
the punctuation of the Ice Age;
the waves of strata,
sentences of geological aeons.
Winding Atlantic Way
taking us through obscure hamlets,
hidden coves, hairy passes,
cattle like dolmen,
horses straight as rain,
mountains of mist,
diminishing into legend,
Fir Bolg, Fomori, Tuatha de Danaan.
We lay down in Diarmuid and Grainne’s bed,
make homage to Crom Dubh, Crom Craugh,
pilgrimage to Patrick’s summit, Brighid’s Garden,
to the old haunts of my youth like
Yeats reflecting on the swans of Coole Park –
Gort and Galway, Aashleagh
Falls and the Spanish Arches,
twenty four years since I thumbed my way
into the west, filled with poetic dreams,
finding my muse, down by ice-cream gardens.
I step over the shadow of the young man I was,
feeling a little like Oisín
returning from Tir nan Og,
trying to avoid touching the earth.
From the saddle of my steed,
the vertigo-tug of lost time,
draws my tears down,
but I ride on,
and I hope that the horse-power
will not give up.