The Glann Road
Artichoke and thistle: two purples.
Artichoke, thistle, salsify, clover, lavender, loosestrife.
Blue is another country, another realm or province,
blue is a fiefdom unknown to the bees who gang the beds of heather, heads bowed and beaded in fealty to
the Land of Nod.
Clouds are another story altogether,
clouds in their pilgrimage across that starry
demesne, another lifetime, future and past
erased like the rib-blue slate that
floors the lake in sheets as terse as syllables.
Gaillimh: curragh, longboat, hooker. A white horse in the meadow.
Hydrangea the color of melon rind; of indigo, oyster shell, guelder rose.
Hydrangea in the meadow the color of mist, of the piebald mule seeking shelter beneath the giant oak
islanded in an ocean of black wasps drunk on clover flower.
Joy of the nectar-sated, the smoke-holy,
Kevin in the sanctity of his cold-water tribulation
long before whomever it was
left these ruins of monastic simplicity
marooned amid the heath and ancient yews,
nave, bier, cist,
oracle or temple, scatter of fieldstone, crusheen like a transmitter
pulsing devotion, whatever energy that is, radiant as faith,
quasar or saturnic ring, the stolid earth, its moon,
rocks in a high and lonely place,
six round cobbles from the waters of Lough Corrib,
stones in their orphanhood, their antigravitational hegira,
their lithic ascension
toward fields of hagiographic light.
To locate the self without compass on a lake of many islands,
teal against alum, topaz on shale.
To defend the ancient tower from the piracy of the other, floribunda the color of sea-salt, fist of the
artichoke cloaked in thistle.
To relent. To surrender to the hydrangea. To give oneself over to the blossoming
tendrils of the sweat pea vine,
their vellum prolixity
trellised against a hayrick of rain and a rainbow gone
underground. And the green snake,
vivid as myth, dreaming the spiral of a pre-Celtic divinity,
wild swans in a cove of reeds, a prayer to Saint Francis
Xavier, cerulean offerings to Elatha or Cernunnos,
yesterday's cuttings to propitiate a blue goddess:
zinnia, witches' thimble, chicory, forget-me-not.