Image by Mateusz Delegacz

ROOTS

the madrigal, volume ii

Íomhánna an Iarthair

by david butler

Ag trasnú na Sionainne dom ar maidin,

a huisce portaigh chomh donn le beoir,

thugas chun chuimhne gach turas do dhéanainn

‘s na mothúcháin a mheascaidís ionam go leor

- éadóchas binn, iontas tréigthe -

caoineadh an chrotaigh le cailliúint go deo,

claíocha leice ina gcreatlach ón nGorta,

is deora Dé ina mbratacha Mhaigh Eo.

Images of the West

Crossing the Shannon this morning, / its bog-water brown as porter, / I recalled every trip I’d made, / and the emotions they’d mix up in me / - sweet despair, desolate wonder - / the lament of the curlew, forever vanishing, / flagstone walls a skeleton of the Famine, / and wild fuchsia like flags of Mayo.

David Butler's third poetry collection, Liffey Sequence, is to be published by Doire Press this autumn. He is also a novelist and dramatist.