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Ireland

Out of the airport, over the Shannon divide,
I started to walk across Europe with only a prayer:
Hold me and keep me down to the Dardenell's
Into that other air - carry me there.

Shannon,
May 14, 1998

County Clare, with the weather fair, foretells
A Lover's excursion, a lyrical Limerick song:
A merry man sang in the very middle of May
In Arthur's Quay, inviting me along.

Limerick,
May 14, 1998

Here I belong to the road, and I rode my way
Through golden hills, green orchards rolling down;
Ireland rode upland for me here,
And so I came to Tipperary town.

Tipperary,
May 15, 1998


After the rule of survival must be
People's passionate need to feel free.

Now let the walker fall into a clockwork groove:
Fifty-three paces a minute will be my gait;
Every two minutes, a tenth of a mile; I
Set this date: Nineteen hundred and ninety-eight.

Cahir,
May 16, 1998

Let the millennium wait, and let Clonmel by;
Lead me beside the river Suir (Sure) so clear.
Shehecheyanu, bless me, O Lord, bless my feet;
Thanks for sustaining my life and for bringing me here.

Clonmel,
May 17, 1998

Ever so near to Ulysses in my conceit.
He left Turkey after the Trojan fight.
Against his tide, my fantasies secretly yearn -
So I return to Byzantium tonight.

 

We all know destination's call;
How you make your way is all.

Identify your pleasure in the land -
Notice the knoll, see tincture of pink in the tree;
Queen Anne's lace is in your face to smell
Tell of the boréen beauty bountifully.

 

Partake of the verb 'to be,' for all is well
Even the I.R.A. can visit their moms.
What Guinness stirs in the breast of every dragoon
Breath itself returns in full bloom and becalms.

Carrick-on-Suir,
May 18, 1998

Lay down your arms, the harbor calls you soon
Drop your shoulder blades.  What's in a name?
What's Celtic, what's Gaelic? All garlic in Irish stew.
O Land of Yeats and Joyce and poverty's shame:

 

It's emigration's broke your heart
And tore your families apart.

Waterford,
May 19, 1998