The sea they think they hear (A trip across Ireland)

If flight or ferry takes you there,
Sure it’s Leinster where you’ll land.
Where the Liffey and canals convene
Old men take you by the hand:

“Will y’hear a parable, my lad?”
(A question rarely asked)
“It means never let a speaker speak
if the speaker’s speakin’ bad.”

A mirror drive from Baile Átha Cliath
Past Kilkenny’s ancient towers
Proves verdant green in myth described
Indeed, the south devours.

In Munster merriment abounds,
Rolling fields meet gentle shores;
Porter flows and whistle sounds
From every open door.

These western cliffs call rainbows down,
But so, too, do great storms come ’round
And up the coast the wind reminds
Of hardship not so far behind.

Oh, Connemara, land untamed,
still let your light outshine
the hurt that huddled years ago
on coral-shell coastlines.

White-lipped waves on sandy graves
A gentle salve applied
So cracked-dry throats in simple boats
Could call the island’s pride.

Then from Derry’s walls to county Down
Spreads Ulster, land apart—
A grayer green cloaks colder shores
No less bracing for the heart.

Cúchulainn built and burned his bridge,
At river Bush they built a still,
And narrow lanes still host parades,
Where flute bands brightly trill.

Dear, dirty Dub to Cusco’s pub
(the highest worldwide),
Across the lands spread Erin’s clans
To ever more abide.

Photos by Macey Sigaty

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