Gratitude and Connemara

Well! If I’m to have the honor of being featured on NaPoWriMo‘s front page, I certainly better catch up to today’s quota! If that’s their method of motivation, I’ll take it 🙂

I’ll try to repay NaPoWriMo’s kindness by combining a number of proposed prompts for my twenty-seventh poem, including the photo prompt of Day 27 (though admittedly I’m using two), the masonry theme of Day 24, and the terza rima format of Day 15.


The Humble Stones

Earthen fences guard their keep
beneath the breath of heavy mist
that over hilltops gently creeps

to lay upon the earth its kiss.
Hardy as the hands that held
the grayish stones within their fists,

the ancient walls their task upheld
since man upon the island trod
and felt her verdant bosom swell.

But long before, the hands of god
once dragged the boulders from the earth
in icy fits that carved and clawed

from inland mount to salty firth.
The humble stones in patience laid,
awaiting no esteemed rebirth

til masons’ hands their borders made
when sheep and other cattle strayed.



I’m speaking, of course, about the iconic dry stone walls of the Celtic isles, particularly with respect to the Connemara region on the west coast of Ireland. The structures, as the isles themselves, have a rich and wild history, and they’re still maintained by the hands of their builders’ descendents today. I took both of these photos on a very magical journey to Ireland at last summer’s inception: the first shows the misty, somber atmosphere of Connemara; the second, dry stone walls atop the more sprawling land as it transitions to the Burren. I might rewrite the ending to this poem or maybe even add on to it, if the call continues to be as strong as the one that draws me to the Emerald Ilse…


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