Poem of the week: Glencolmcille Soundtrack

A new poem by Moya Cannon

Moya Cannon’s 'Glencolmcille Soundtrack' is the poem of the week. Photograph:   Dara Mac Dónaill

Moya Cannon’s 'Glencolmcille Soundtrack' is the poem of the week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

All day long, as I climbed,

in sunshine, up to the holy well,

then on to the Napoleonic watchtower,

and halted behind it, on a headland

tramped brown by sheep, to watch the sea

carve slow blue paths through cliffs and skerries,

May’s soundtrack played on and on-

bee-hum, the high meheh of hill-lambs,

the lifted songs of larks in warm grass

and later, near the court tomb in the valley,

the cuckoo’s shameless call.

When did I forget it,

mislay it or roll it up,

this tapestry of sound

which pleasures us

by spilling hawthorn hedges

in whin-scented summer,

as pools of yellow iris

are conjured out of wet fields

and late bluebells, vetch and fern

capture the ditches?

Moya Cannon’s most recent collection is Keats Lives (Carcanet)