Derrynaflan, a poem by Joseph Woods

Joseph Woods’s most recent collection is Monsoon Days

for Rosita Boland

A buzzard over Ballyowen when I set out from Dualla

to Derrynaflan during lockdown and stravaging the roads

like an emissary monk intent from Cashel.


Beyond Ballinure a sense of the west widening, apparition

of stone walls and good land lowering to bad, a bog basin

stretched to eternity. After cavernous wet lanes, a Mohican

causeway over black peat led to a contour of green,

an island rising to a ruinous church and from there forty years ago,

the unimagined hidden hoard, struck. The bounty hoisted

up into the blue after a millennium of darkness, I turn

for home and only notice now, linnets loud in the living hedges,

larks soaring and how hares have taken the roads as their own.

Joseph Woods's most recent collection is Monsoon Diary (Dedalus Press)