Sunday, May 13, 2018


I was driving back from Ballina to Sligo one evening last year and noticed some of the scenery on the way, which was spectacular in the growing sunlight, as the clouds cleared away. 

Out of the gloom appeared Knocknarea, which is unmistakable with the little pimple on its summit. I had never seen it from so far away before - there were at least thirty kilometres to go before I reached Sligo. 

I have lived near this hill for most of my life, but this view of it was something I had never experienced before. It was so grand there, so solid and sure of itself. A new perspective on a familiar landmark.

HILL     (27/07/17)  
Out of nowhere,
The drive home from Ballina
Becomes a spectacle.

Heavy all day,
The clouds part and scurry off,
The curtains of the sky
Have opened.

Knocknarea appears
And is clearly visible,
Though there are still thirty Ks to go.
The Queen’s hill is a button, a blister,
Sligo’s nipple;
An unmoving nub
On the landscape.
A scab you just want to pick.

I have lived near it most of my life
But have never seen it
From so far away.
It is so grown-up looking;
Up close, it is an adolescent mound,
A childish swell of rock
That is barely a mountain.

But seen from Enniscrone, Easkey,
Dromore West,
It is little but grand,
An ancient dwarf,
Dignified in its insignificance.

A tiny sign that home is approaching.

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