After watching the video of Genetic ghosts, I kept recalling one of my poems, written in preparation for our first performance tour in Ireland back in 2005. I set to understanding the feelings I awakened during my visit the first year in the only way I knew best, rhythm and rhyme.

 

 

Fragments of Time

From Armagh to Arizona, the trails in between

Riding down a rocky arroyo or across fields of emerald green

There is comfort in the knowing that I have ridden these roads before

And an urgent, primal longing that sometimes I can’t ignore

It is then I close my eyes and slip gently down to rest

Dreaming of a gallant laddie, a white lily on his chest

Born & raised way out west, among the cactus & the sage

At home in the saddle, I have earned a cowboy’s wage

I share a kinship with the earth, my father taught me well

My Gran, she taught me the Celtic ways & wrapped me in its spell

I learned to sort the calves in spring & to keep the irons hot

And I learned to sing & dance a jig when I was just a tot

From Craggy shores to moonscaped Burren & in the ruins standing there

I’ve heard my name from long ago, whispered, hanging in the air

Who can explain the knowing that I have for places I’ve not been?

Or the ghostly embrace in the crofter’s cottage, as if from a long lost friend

I have felt these same embraces & heard the whispers on the breeze

When I have stood in silent reverie, alone at Wounded Knee

This lifetime born to tell the tales of the West from Long ago

Of life along the trails, and the glory days of Rodeo

From Armagh to Arizona, many trails to explore

Giving voice to ghostly echoes, both here & on distant shore

I hear a Bodhran beating time, a banjo calling me to dance

As the mists of Ireland transport me, I give not a second glance

From Armagh to Arizona & trails in between

All the friends made along the way & wonders I have seen

I feel the Isle pulling me, singing my soul home

I find a peace & comfort there, as her varied lands I roam

As I journey through her towns & fields, I slip into an easy pace

There is an ancient yearning, many lifetimes can’t erase

In Armagh or Arizona, the voices sing out from deep within

They tell me though I’ve been too long gone, I can come home again

I have felt this same sweet welcome in the adobe walls of Santa Fe

In Tallequah & Tubac, and other storied cities along the way

As the lyric wisps of memories take flight on wings of rhyme

My soul feeds upon the remembering of a fragment in time

Catherine Lilbit Devine (c) 2005

Views: 144

Tags: Ancestors, Armagh, History, Ireland, Poetry, Recall

Comment by Jim Curley on July 19, 2013 at 8:29am

Very nice, Bit. I love the intensity of place in this poem.  I'm a big fan of the work of the late John O'Donahue and love his idea that land is not something you transverse to get from Point A to Point B, but something that should be savored in its immediacy.  Of course, O'Donahue came from the Burren in Clare, so it may have been easier to value place there.

Comment by Thomas Besore on July 23, 2013 at 8:01am

Very Nice!

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