Monday, 12 March 2012

Only in my dreams

Another poem I wrote a few years ago. This is about a place that has always been special to me but it is also about the way that the human race has always messed with nature and continues to do so.

A peat bog in Ireland’s West,
I travelled here every year,
Often more than once,

Sat there beside brackish pools,
Breathing that cool clear air,
I dreamed my dreams,
Deep in thought,
Totally at peace,
Light grey mist swirled in wispy veils,
And in the distance the curlew called,

Here once was a primeval forest,
Here there lived great trees,
Fearsome insect eating plants,
Early mammals and birds,
Long, long ago,
The forest died,

For thousands of years,
Below the surface,
The ancient forest remained,
Preserved in the peaty mass,

New life came to Carrabeg once more,
Frogs, newts, water dwelling beetles,
Butterflies flitting from flower to flower,
Dragonflies patrolled the ditches,
Horsetail grass that ancient survivor,
And the cotton-wool flax waved in the breeze,
Early men, hunter-gatherers lived nearby,

This was a mystical, magical place,
The earth shook under my footsteps,
Ancient tree trunks, bleached by the years,
Broke through the surface,
Like great white skeletons, long forgotten,
The Will-o-the-wisp,
Glowing eerily across the bog,
For thousands of years man and nature,
Shared this place, side by side,

Not now!
Those times are gone,

A plantation,
Man made!
Un-natural lines,
Of un-natural trees,
Men chose the trees,
Men drained the water,
Men killed off the frogs,
The dragonfly, the sundew,
And the cotton-wool flax,

We’ve thrown away our past,
Lost our link to those few, early hunter-gatherers,
We took away the mystery and magic,
Those beautiful plants,
And birds,
And animals,

That history!
That journey of a million lives,
Lies buried,
Lost, beneath the firs!

I still see the Will-o-the-Wisp,
I still smell the brackish pools,
I still taste the sweet, clear air,
I still feel the spongy earth beneath my feet,
I still hear the curlew call,
But only in my dreams


  1. If I'd had this when fighting the opencast up here I'd have read it out in the public enquiry.

    We won. But when UK Coal come knocking again I'll be ready.

  2. Cheers Pat, it wasn't originally going to be a poem but switching from prose often gives the piece more power, especially when read out loud. I think that's what I like bout poetry - more power per word.