Memories of land


Do you remember the hills 
               in lines
                      north of Kells. 
Douglas Fir 
and yellow blossomed Furze 
              grown thick below exposed rock. 
            The land here remember things, 
recorded in mountains and rivers, 
     lakes and coastal cliffs where
sea spinach grows
       In dry places where tides used to flow.

Miniature dragons
pressed between the dusty pages of
sedimentary history. 

Or branded deep into hot igneous stone 
from burning cores.

Marble in Galway bay 
            with bones of whales 
          and impossible oysters from prehistory.
memories written in sand and pressure 
          recorded forever.

The land remembers ice monsters 
             growing and receding 
leaving spurs 
and hills, drumlins 
and       erratic’s       scattered     like 
crumbs to hens 
from a hags apron full to overflowing

Primordial forest lost, 
         drowned in Noah’s  flood. 
Biblical rain that fell from warmer skies 
for a hundred years and forty days
forming deep dank dark bogs, 
and branches 
              on branches for six millennia.
Soup of pulp and flesh dried back 
To wood cut and milled 
                In rows of forest memory.

Men from warmer lands, 
the scent and taste of olives 
redolent in the air 
and memory of wattle homes on riverbanks.
Farmers who praised earth and sun.

Do you remember the days spent exploring
the hills and ancient tombs 
           built with the wisdom of men 
      who could read the memories 
of the land. 
I remember your eyes in the dark, 
            your hair tied back with a black bow. 

Did you feel the ghosts there too. 
In the tombs, leaking from the sediment 
           of stone into living bone.

They crept under my skin 
shadow my days 
          voices whispering
memories, pressing fossils of living time 
into the grain of skin
and the molten lava of my mind. 
          Memories of you.

The voices 
that held the tang of olives and garlic 
the children of the sun, 
          the Dannan that came across the sea.
Did they return with you too 
          and did you take them
to your own distant shores.

© Dave Kavanagh @

6 thoughts on “Memories of land

  1. Dear Dave, this is a far reaching beauty, such natural breath and landscape of vivid words. Nothing i could sat would do it justice, quite simpky it is mesmerizing and lovely

    Liked by 1 person

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