Lament for Croghan Bog
Croghan, grey in the morning mist Scarved to meet the sun, Looked down at the bogland Thrived since time begun. The morning gleamed, in the whinlight That reached to Allen's brim Where the wild boar fled the gorsebank And the hunting hounds of Finn. Its other name – BRI EILE... The kinsblood clan of Maeve Who heard the march from Connaught, And gave it first its name. A burst of yellow waters In amniotic flight Gave birth to its Bu√≠ Abhann... The Boyne of later life, That hid among the eskers Of pearl gravelled stone The smolt of trout and salmon In floods of Maytime grown. It heard the distant drumming From Newgrange and from Knowth, The neolithic hunter For ever moving south, Who saw the restful meadows The withered and the plain, The bogs that framed the uplands Of Clonsast, Clonmeen, Cloncrane. And Bulfin's √Čireann rambles Were guided by the dome, From Uishneach's green convening place To Tara's royal throne, And standing in the dawning At the amphitheatre's rim Looked into the boglands And saw the life within... Colluna's beesom heather With inverted nipple bells Seducing in its bosom The wild bees from their cells, And fuscia confiscating In its tightened skirt of mauve the insect pollinating In its fertile act of love. The freckled fingered foxglove Hid in fairy bells The digitalis toxin The failing heart upheld. The catkins on the sally In a scrotal satchel furled Genetic information To preserve a sylvan world. The parachuting dandelions The float with thistle down To propagate the meadows Of Clonad, Clonmore, Clonbrown. The fraughan berries blushing As the hid in from the sun Who sought them out and kissed them And they ripened one by one. The castle Paled at Carbury With its chimneys in the sky Where it looked across the valley And they saw each other die. The sun on Derrygreenagh For a thousand summers poured On the draighnean in the oakwood Where it synthesised and stored. And Admiral, Red Admiral The Emperor and Moth That float in life ephemeral Forever and forgot. The sedges in the mossfields That sighed a restless sigh Where the Mananaer was diving Like a wild goat in the sky. The night time kept its secrets In the marshlands undefiled Where the moon raced in the cloudlines That made them both look wild... And Will-o-the-Croghan-methane wisp In a poltergeist delight Danced to the stars of the Fenlight At the souls retrieved in the night. The morning pales in the Druid mists That hung on the pagan well Where Patrick crossed in blessing Subsumed in a Christian spell. In March they still remember As they climb the lovers' dome, And look across the desert Where nature had a home. They see a pimpled landscape Disgorge a sulphur blast, Catabolising turbines Putting candles in a glass, They see the rivers leaving Through the greying ceannavan, To meet and merge their difference On the mearings of Clongall... And Croghan cried for the bloglands In tannin weeping drains Cross cut by man of iron With lacerating veins, They watch the boglands perish, Its belly still upturned As they disembowel and tear it Till stone age stones return.