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A Journey To My Roots
SOM (A Thursday,1987 / Tiobraid Arann)

A Journey To My Roots

Poem By Seán O Muiríosa

The old house stood as sturdy as ever
even as the mangled jade ivy clung and grasped
as it had for decades, but she would never be killed.
It’s not in her make-up.

A strangely small garden shook me at first
until memory kicked in removing all those fears
with its usual record of rhetoric:
I had not been here now for close on ten years...

Inside a marbled, brown chocolate fireplace greeted us.
There was some catching up
over mugs a’ tae and sweet crumbly biscuits.
A cool chill snapped at my ankles suddenly

from the deep reaches of the old house.
But the warmth of almost a century of living
fizzled that out into irrelevance
like the summer sun on a murky morning fog.

And so then to the Graveyard and the old church of Raheen,
I looked down the rolling hills of Laois and
I saw my Nan’s childhood home
where I had just been.

The duskish green hills arced down and then back up
towards the graves, like the curve of a leprechaun shoe.
Farms dotted the core of those lovely Laois lowlands,
which I thought would go on forever.

Departing, I felt something wrench at me, something
from the depths of my silhouette.
This is partly where I’ve come from –
perhaps some answers at last?

I wanted to stay, to find out, but that’s time
doing what it does best, and as it took me home,
past dairy fields and barns and branches tatting windows,
I let it be, for some other wondrous day.

User Rating: 4,3 / 5 ( 6 votes ) 7

Comments (7)

A fine, descriptive peek into your background...I could almost see you in your surroundings. Strange how we are drawn to our earliest memories; part of what makes us who we are. Eloquent work :) Best wishes. Jack.
A gorgeous write. I loved the 'branches tatting windows', it reminded me of my Mother who did tatting, which as you obviously know is a kind of lace making. This was a joy to read, such a pleasure to the mind. Love Ernestine XXX
This is going straight onto the 'my favourites list'. I love the theme and the execution of it is marvellous. Your description of place is outstanding.
Beautiful! Can I just leave it at that? ...nope, okay. I'm homesick...that doesn't happen very often. You write with the heart of an Irishman Sean...and you're only 18! ! Colour me impressed :)
Sean, this is a wonderful poem with detailed descriptions of the place and time. I loved the image of hills shaped like a leprechaun's shoe. You placed me right inside the house while you had tea, cold on your ankles supplanted by the warm feelings in the old house. You write with the maturity of someone much older than your years. I look forward to reading much more of your work. Raynette


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