Written On The Land

Martin Swords Poetry

Deformed-tree-as-a-result-006

There is a tree on Achill
Written by the wind
Bent low, bowed to the ground
As the shawled wida women
Passing it each day

There are shingle spits near Murrisk
Shaped sharp and pointed by the waves
Like bleached fingers on a famine hand
Exposed in graveyard dunes
By Winter storms

There are sandy coves on Beara
Where lovers sometimes play
Where a turn of tide or wind
Sends men searching for the lost
Taken unexpected on an ordinary day

Landscape can be a page
Of hard history written
By a cruel hand, wind or wave
Told as on Ancient Vellum
Made of those once living

It can be beautiful
But not always so

Martin Swords
Written in Kenmare County Kerry
July 2015

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