(i.m. Famine Walk 31/3/1849)
Stop a moment by the idle wall, look
right to the red rusting boathouse, tall trees
whispering, sheep bleating. Look left, follow
the waves, their bluegreen sheen domed by the sky,
bend and dip with the coast road. Long fingered
land lingers, to reappear as humpbacked
hills dotting Clew Bay. Clouds scud across Croagh
Patrick, colour changing as you watch. Four
hundred walked to Delphi Lodge in search
of food. They lie among potato drills,
roofless abbey walls, standing stones, yellow furze.
The rise of land dominates, insists that
you walk on it, admire it and know your
place in the scheme of things.
You can listen to Jer Duffy reading her poem by clicking on the file below
Ger Duffy lives in Co. Waterford, Ireland. Her poetry and fiction has been published by Slow Dancer Press, The Women’s Press, The Viking Press and Sheba Press. She holds a PG DIP in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths College, an MA in Screenwriting from University of Westminster, London.
National Famine monument at Murrisk/Lecanvey, Co. Mayo, Ireland. The sculpture pays homage to the victims of the Irish Famine (An Gorta Mór) and especially to Irish people who emigrated to the United Sates to escape death, with no guarantee of arriving alive.
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