Sunday, 16 December 2012

Connemara Child





Augustus Nicholas Burke



Connemara Child


She is of the mountain, her backdrop pure beauty:
purple mountain, blue ocean, green marbled rocks.
But beauty will not sustain the starving Connemara child,
her small frame hidden beneath a tattered shawl,
this girl-not-quite-woman. Her feet are bare, but underfoot,
summer’s heather is kind and warm, soft as the tale
her voice might tell, if inclined to speak.
Her gaze is clear, her moods like clouds,
forever transient, gleaning what may lie ahead. 
For an ancient wisdom dwells within her, wrapped in a language
washed with tears.  Ancestors sing to her, 
sometimes a prayer,

sometimes a dirge, sometimes a song of serenity 
which rings in the mountains and rides on the waves.
In times of holy stillness you may hear it, deep
and haunting, like a melancholic Irish serenade.



Cait O’Connor

3 comments:

Pam said...

"...ancestors sing to her..."
I made a pilgrimage back to Ireland earlier this year Cait, searching ancient graveyards in familial towns. It was bone-chillingly cold with whipping winds.
Having read Angela's Ashes also, it brought home to me the physical and emotional hardships suffered in this most beautiful of lands.
Thank you for featuring Connemara Child here. The illustration is both touching and beautiful.
I feel so lucky to have had an Australian childhood full of sunshine and joy, yet my very existence is due to those like her in 1800's Ireland, and their optimism for a better way.

elizabeth said...

How well you echo the beauty and melancholy of your lovely maiden.
I have never been to Ireland but long to.

Dave King said...

This pulls equally at the heart strings and the longing for the romantic. Very well crafted.