SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #21
ISSN 1479-425X   
August 2004

Editor's Note
JOBS AT SENTINEL

Durlabh Singh
BALLAD OF A STRANGER
Uche Nduka
FOUR POEMS
James Scott
FOUR POEMS
Ngozi Obasi Awa
THREE POEMS
Desmond Swords
SIDHING

Publishing Opportunities
SHORT RUN PUBLICATIONS
LITERARY MAGAZINES
POETRY COMPETITIONS

Past Issues
Submissions
Home

DESMOND SWORDS


SIDHING

The wish of the will of the whispering dead
the fill of the lake on the black cloud ahead
the call of the wild and the rush of the dawn
belong to the memory where a terrible storm
once raged at the living out of all sense
and takes our beginning to a place of no rest.
And so we begin

Long days gone and long days more
will pass over the West and bring talk of the sky
where the eagle above washes its wings
by the wind of the Sidhe1 on all souls night.
And every day and night when he drew breath
an old man by his blue running brook
gave chase to the thoughts when his blood
ran hot in days long since slipped into memory.

And his mother only wanted bread
or maybe a small portion of meager fare
from the ground her father ploughed with bare hands
and feet hardened by the western rock
of an unforgiving landscape.

Where the wind took seven years of a man's life
and the calm sun of a long summer added seven more
as the wild sweep of the chattering folk
told immortal tales spoken of ever since -
long before the first memory set in ogham
2 the words
of a poet cut into stone and bark.

Where the language whispered by hands 
needed only a keen pair of eyes
and a tribe druid to teach how to mirror trees.
But those days disappeared in a slow burn
before the final sharp flame of a dying
culture snuffed out and sailed to the four
corners of the earth and took root elsewhere.

But now the roots have intertwined and grown
tall and strong from the hard times we remember
only as folktales and anecdotes told
by the older members of the tribe.

Phoenix rising and the mist swells
with tears and we don't know why.

I think some character mirrors that west
of eternal change and numerous weathers;
and I believe that the collective souls
who lived and died in the untold years
of a presence there, live on to tell us
by the thoughts that we hold but don't know why. 

Two thousand years in the same tongue raises few questions
and ties that bind one nation of people share,
but when the other tongue took over
and the people dispersed the bond was such
a strength that mere words were only surface
and what lay behind was a structure of thought
laid on a prehistoric foundation
of kith, kin and blood found in few places;
or elsewhere far away in distant lands
where maybe a common stock existed
back in prehistory at Le Taine
before the big move westward when Rome
held europe in an imperial grip.

Sidhing continues>>

<<Previous  l  <Cover>  l  Next>>