They Speak Irish

  A poem   and photograph from my latest book,  Ireland, Place out of Time (2017).  Order your copy here.

A poem and photograph from my latest book, Ireland, Place out of Time (2017). Order your copy here.

They Speak Irish

On Inis Oirr, smallest of three Arans,
we give over our Euros
for a carriage ride ’round the isle

Horse clops ring on the rocky
road, past thatched
roofs in a town

little changed in five centuries
Past the cemetery where headstones
pronounce the dead in Gaelic

Of course there are sheep,
there are always sheep,
fleeces marked in neon

Here bygone mixes—if uneasily—
with modern; tourists
now the primary trade

We ride out to a ship foundered on rocks
decades before, its rusted hulk
reminder of the sea’s treacheries

Ireland’s west coast
remains ancient land
—a place out of time