Posts Tagged ‘Aonghus Macneacail’

could I carry
The words of aonghus macneacail
Safely in my head,
A basket of eloquence,
Then my own tongue
(And its roaming spirit)
Would never be silenced.

And my eye would be
Hard as nails, soft
As sea foam
Seeing all, feeling all
In sounds
Round and slap flat,
Like a bodhrain
Of the heart.

Wave-formed sound
Of how it is,
How it may be,
How it was –
A weaving of Time
And Space,
A knotting of nets
To catch the fast, glistening shoals
Of verse,
Clever creel to hold safe
All those
Camoflaged, scuttling notions.

For they are there
When I am in drought,
(lips cracked, tongue
Cleaved to mouth’s ceiling),
Angus, and Sorley, too:
Like sudden, hidden
mellifluous streams
Stumbled across
On the deserted, bleak
Black moors,
bringing fountains of words
For an hour or two
Until subdued
In bog and slough
Or drowned,
Over the cliffside
To be lost
In the hidden rivers
Of the sea.


(On a recent trip to the Isle of Skye I bought a copy of Aonghas MacNeacail’s new volume “Laughing at the clock” in Portree.
I have, there and since, been working on a poetic piece in many parts concerning the passage of Time, landscape, life, death, the secret commonwealth of the Sidhe, inspiration, Independance, freedom…..
It is not the usual way I work – a careful fishing for lines, a tentative accumulation of images, and the whole edifice rises and sinks over time like a mythical island. But when I think I have exhausted its potential, or become distracted by daily events, all I need to do is to open up a page of Aonghus’s, or of Sorley Maclean and then my head is filled with a flurry of muse’s feathers ( coming or going), which, if I am fortunate in giving the time to put down the phrases and ideas, can fuel many things.
Language is indeed a virus, it seems. And I am happy not to be innoculated…..)

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