Im Long Mé Measaim

le Dónal Ó Liatháin

Im long mé measaim,
fé last fé sheol
Is gan caladhfort romham

Im leabhar mé scríofa
i dteanga ón spéir
Is níl aon ní a thuigfeadh é

Im lampa lásta istigh i gcupúrd
Is gach dóras dúnta
fé ghlas go dlúth

An bhfanfadsa lásta
mar long i mbuidéal
Go n-éalóidh mar chogar
an chuid eile dem shaol?

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Ó Riada’s Farewell

Roving, unsatisfied ghost,
old friend, lean closer;
leave us your skills:
lie still in the quiet
of your chosen earth.

Woodtown Manor, Again
I
We vigil by the dying fire,
talk stilled for once,
foil clash of rivalry,
fierce Samouri pretence.

Outside a rustle of bramble,
jack fox around the framing
elegance of a friend’s house
we both choose to love:

two natives warming themselves
at the revived fire
in a high ceiling room
worthy of Carolan –

clatter of harpsichord
the music leaping
like a long candle flame
to light ancestral faces

pride of music
pride of race

II
Abruptly, closer to self-revelation
than I have ever seen, you speak;
bubbles of unhappiness breaking
the bright surface of Till Eulenspiegel.

I am in great danger, you whisper,
as much to the failing fire
as to you friend & listener;
though, you have great luck.

Our roles reversed, myself cast
as the light-fingered master,
the lucky dancer on thin ice,
rope walker on the precipice.

III
Magisterial, ruddy moustached,
smiling, I sense the strain
behind your jay’s life,
your sharp player’s mask.

Instinct wrung and run
awry all day, powers idled
to self-defeat, the vaccum
behind the catalyst’s gift.

Beyond the flourish
of personality, peacock
pride of music or language:
a constant, piercing torment!

Signs earlier, a stranger
made to stumble at a bar door,
fatal confusion of the powers
of the upper and lower air.

A playing with fire, leading
you, finally, tempting you
to the unforgivable, the
calling of death for another.

IV
A door opens,
and she steps into the room,
smothered in a black gown,
harsh black hair falling to her knees,
a pale tearstained face.

How pretty you look,
Miss Death!

V
Samhain
Sing a song
for the mistress
of the bones

the player
on the black keys
the darker harmonies

light jig
of shoe buckles
on a coffin lid

*

pale glint
of a wrecker’s lantern
on a jagged cliff

across the ceaseless
glitter of the spume:
a seagull’s creak.

the damp haired
seaweed stained sorceress
marshlight of defeat

*

chill of winter
a slowly failing fire
faltering desire

Darkness of Darkness
we meet on our way
in loneliness

Blind Carolan
Blind Raftery
Blind Tadhg

VI
Hell Fire Club
Around the house all night
dark music of the underworld,
hyena howl of the unsatisfied,
latch creak, shutter sigh,
the groan and lash of trees,
a cloud upon the moon.

Released demons moan.
A monstrous black tom
crouches on the roofbeam.
The widowed peacock screams
knowing the fox’s tooth:
a cry, like rending silk

& a smell of carrion where
baulked of their prey,
from pane to tall window
pane, they flit, howling
to where he lies, who has
called them from defeat.

Now, their luckless meat,
turning a white pillowed room,
smooth as a bridal suite
into a hospital bed where
a lucid beast fights against
a blithely summoned doom.

At the eye of the storm
a central calm, where
tearstained, a girl child
sleeps cradled in my arms
till the morning points
and you are gone.

VII
The Two Gifts
And a nation mourns:
The blind horseman with his harp carrying servant,
Hurrying through darkness to a great house
Where a lordly welcome waits, as here:
Fingernail spikes in candlelight recall
A ripple & rush of upland streams,
The slant of rain on void eye sockets,
The shrill of snipe over mountains
Where a few stragglers nest in bracken –
After Kinsale, after Limerick, after Aughrim,
After another defeat, to be redeemed
By the curlew sorrow of an aislin.

The little Black Rose
(To be sprinkled with tears)
The Silk of the Kine
(To be shipped as dead meat)

‘They tore out my tongue
So I grew another one’,
I heard a severed head
Sing down a bloddy stream.

But a lonelier lady mourns,
the muse of a man’s particular gift,
Mozart’s impossible marriage of fire & ice,
skull sweetness of the last quartets,
Mahler’s horn wakening the autumn forest,
the harsh blood pulse of Stravinsky,
the hammer of Boulez
which you will never lift.
Never to be named with your peers,
I am in great danger, he said;
firecastles of flame,
a name extinguished.

VIII
Lament
With no family
& no country

a voice rises
out of the threatened beat
of the heart & the brain cells

(not for the broken people
nor for the blood soaked earth)

a voice like an animal howling
to itself on a hillside
in the empty church of the world

a scream
an imprecation
a yelp
a cry

a lament so total
it mourns no one
but the globe itself
turning in the endless halls
of space, populated
with passionless stars

and that always raised voice

Macedonia 1972 – Cork 1974

Slán le Baile Mhúirne

le Tórna
Mo shlán cé dubhach liom a labhairt in aon chor
‘S nách maith ná léir chuirim laoithe i gcóir,
Le Baile Mhúirne na ndragan ngléinneach
‘Sé an saighead go hae ionam mo scarúint leo.
Ba dham ba shuagach gach maidean séa-mhoch
Um meán an lae ghil nó seal ar neóin
Gan cheas gan chúinnse bheith i measc na dtréan-fhear
Ag spreagadh Gaeilge go seascair sóghail

Is i mBaile Mhúirne do gheobhthá an Ghaoluinn
Gan chealg gan éislinn ag aosta is óg;
‘S go dtagaid údair is ainnir bhéithe ann
Chun feabhas is léireacht d’fháil ann ‘na gcóir.
‘S ba dheacair liomsa cur síos lem chaol pheann
Ar na fáilthibh féile do gheibhid go deóidh,
Ó lucht na Cúlach ‘s an Mhuilinn aoldha
‘Gus Charraig ‘n Adhmaid bhí riamh gan smál.

I mBaile Mhúirne do chífeá na réidh-chnoic
Is mullaigh na sléibhte fá bhrataibh ceóidh
Na scamaill ag úr-rith thar tír ar séide
Mar chataibh na Féinne fé fhuadar ghleóidh,
An cuilleann, an t-iúr, is gach crann dá mb’fhéidir
A ríomh in aon bhall in Éirinn mhóir;
Na héin ag súgradh go fairsing aerach
‘S na bradáin ag léimridh i bPoll na Bró.

I mBaile Mhúirne do gheobhthá an fhéileacht
Is fíor chroí Gaelach is gnáthach romhat,
Mná tí múinte agus leanbhaí léannta,
Mar ba dhual do Ghaeil bheith de réir sean-nós.
An cinnteach cúng-chroích má chaitheann tréimhse ann
ní baol ná gur Gaelach do bheidh fé dheoidh;
Is an Seóinín súidh bhíonn ag spreagadh an Bhéarla
Cuirtear ruaigh go héasgaidh ar gach éinne ‘á dhórd.

Má theangmhaíonn dúinne tré ghrásta an Aon-Mhic
Do bheith ar an saol go ceann bliana beo,
Go dtabharam cúrsa go cneasta céim-ghlan
I lár an Bhéarla go Corcaigh Mhóir;
Go Baile Mhúirne go gheobham gan aon mhoill,
Mar bhfuil an Ghaeltacht go greanta cóir;
Is guím tré chúnamh an té do céasadh
Go mairidh ár nGaeilge ann slán go deoidh.

The Lure (for Seán Ó Riada)

John Montague

Again, that note! A weaving
melancholy, like a bird crossing
moorland;

pale ice on a corrie
opening inward, soundless harp-
strings of rain:

the pathos
of letters in the 1916 Room
‘Mother, I thank …’

a podgy landmine,
Pearse’s swordstick leading to a care-
fully profiled picture.

That point
where folk and art meet murmurs
Herr Doctor as

the wail of tin
whistle climbs against fiddle, and
the bodhrán begins –

lost cry
of the yellow bittern!

Homo Ludens

Seán Lucy

And he told this story
of the old singer and the tape recorder:
of how the old man listened to his own voice
while fierce anxiety turned down his mouth
until he heard his strengthening voice
move into life again.

Then sat with concentration till the song was over,
flung his cap on the floor between his boots crying,
‘I’ll never die!’

Another night Seán sat down at the piano
when we were drinking poitín and pints of stout
and played the tune to me for the first time,
that air of pride and loss,
of the sharp love that has accepted loss.

And in his hands our deadly lasting sadness
became acceptable
so I was moved to tears,
not drunk but steady.

I cried,
and when he finished cursed him saying, ‘You bastard,
you took me by surprise’.

He stood up with his fingers round my arm
smiling and laughing;
pleased with my understanding,
more pleased by his power,
most deeply pleased by music
by the thing itself.

One afternoon he said,
‘A man should dance on his own floor’.
And he danced.

Caoineadh don Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta Iar Uachtarán Dáimh Scoil Mhúscraí

le Betsy Ní Shuibhne

A Phádraig chaoin mo bhrón gur imís
A Uasail shéimh doirtim duit brón is sílim deora tuíocha
Do thaisce leabhar is an stór filíochta
A choinneoid do bheatha go deo ‘nár gcuimhne

Slán go deo leat ó Chúirt na Dáimhe
Bhís mar choinneal órdha ar bhord na saoithe
Do mhanar sheol i Múscraí Má Fhloinn
Do dhoirt le deon dúinn na seoda áilne

Tréine do chreidimh do ghaoluinne agus d’inntealacht
A thuill duit an t-omós agus an onóir ab aired
“An Sagart” “Iris Má Nuad” agus an “Bíobla” ró-álainn
Od’ pheann thagadh leabhar beagnach gach lá uait

Suaimhneas síorraí guím id’ ród
Solas is aoibhneas mór dod’ anam
Beidh Catliona and Colm Cille le fáilte a chur romhat
Is cathaoir ríoga romhat le fanacht.

Rún Comhbhróin don Monsignor Ó Fiannachta

 

Comhbhrón linn go léir a chairde anso ag an nDáimh Scoil, le muintir na h-Éireann, idir tuath agus Cléir, le muintir Chorca Dhuibhne, dá ghaolta, ar bhás d’ár gcara dhil Pádraig.

Bhaineamar an-thaitneamh agus maitheas as nuair a bhí sé mar Uachtarán ar Dáimh Scoil Mhúscraí Uí Fhloinn.

Is mór a chuir sé leis na h-ócáidí lena chlisteacht agus a dheisbhéalacht, a chuid filíochta, agus a chomhrá bríomhar.

Is mó file ná feicfheadh dán leo riamh i gcló ach amháin an Iris “An Sagart”, agus “Iris Má Nuad”, agus ár mbuíochas leis as san.

Fear léigheanta ab ea é, a chaith a shaol ag craobhscaoileadh an Chreidimh agus na diadhachta le filíocht, cultúr na Gaoluinne tríd a scriobhinní.

Solas síorraí dá anam uasal, Ní bheidh a leithéid arís againn.

 

Betsy Ní Shuibhne
Cúil Aodha
Uachtarán Dáimh Scoil Mhúscraí Uí Fhloinn

Saoirse

Raghaidh mé síos i measc na ndaoine
De shiúl mo chos
Is raghaidh mé. síos anocht.

Raghaidh mé síos ag lorg daoirse
Ón mbinibshaoirse
Tá ag liú anseo:

Is ceanglód an chonairt smaointe
Tá ag drannadh im thimpeall
San uaigneas:

Is loirgeod an teampall rialta
Bhíonn lán de dhaoine
Ag am fé leith:

Is loirgeod comhluadar daoine
Nár chleacht riamh saoirse,
Ná uaigneas:

Is éistfead leis na scillingsmaointe,
A malartaítear
Mar airgead:

Is bhéarfad gean mo chroí do dhaoine
Nár samhlaíodh riamh leo
Ach macsmaointe.

Ó fanfad libh de ló is d’oiche,
Is beidh mé íseal,
Is beidh mé dílis,
D’bhur snabsmaointe.

Mar do chuala iad ag fás im intinn,
Ag fás gan chuimse,
Gan mheasarthacht.

Is do thugas gean mo chroí go fíochmhar
Don rud tá srianta,
Do gach macrud:

Don smacht, don reacht, don teampall daoineach,
Don bhfocal bocht coitianta
Don am fé leith:

Don ab, don chlog, don seirbhíseach
Don chomparáid fhaitíosach,
Don bheaguchtach:

Don luch, don tomhas, don dreancaid bhídeach,
Don chaibidil, don líne
Don aibítir:

Don mhórgacht imeachta is tíochta,
Don chearrbhachas istoíche,
Don bheannachtain:

Don bhfeirmeoir ag tomhas na gaoithe
Sa bhfómhar is é ag cuimhneamh
Ar pháirc eornan:

Don chomhthuiscint, don chomh-sheanchuimhne,
Do chomhiompar comhdhaoine,
Don chomh-mhacrud

Is bheirim fuath anois is choíche
Do imeachtaí na saoirse,
Don neamhspleáchas.

Is atuirseach an intinn
A thit in iomar doimhin na saoirse,
Ní mhaireann cnoc dar chruthaigh Dia ann,
Ach cnoic theibí, sainchnoic shamhlaíochta.
Is bíonn gach cnoc díobh lán de mhianta
Ag dreapadóireacht gan chomhlíonadh,
Níl teora leis an saoirse
Ná le cnoca na samhlaíochta,
Ná níl teora leis na mianta,
Ná faoiseamh
Le fáil.