I consider Glendalough, Co Wicklow, Ireland, to be one of the most inspiring places on earth. It's where Iseult Gonne is buried and where some chapters of But A Dream, the third book in my WB Yeats trilogy are set. I spent as much time as possible there when I lived in Ireland, especially while researching that novel.
This poem is a tribute to all that was given to me there.
Time Out At Glendalough
After you have walked the ruins
of seven churches,
tilted back your head to seek the top
of the tower that took
the rounded point
of Kevin’s steeple
and thrust it up,
three times as high,
from earth to sky to mark
the ground you walk upon
after you have circled green lake paths
that urge you up, then further up,
to top the crashing
after you’ve been stopped and stopped again,
by sight of ice-sliced mountain cut to valley
its mesh of rivers and falls,
rushing to empty all into two, long lakes
that somehow take this ceaseless gush
and hold it
you will know
the allure of here,
as of all the places we call sacred,
is the silence.
You will have heard
of your own blood
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