[ʌ] [ɜː] [ʊə] [æ] [i:] [ai] [e] [ɒ] [ei] [ɪ] [əʊ] [ɑː]


An Aisling in the Burren

A time was to come when we yearned

for the eel-drugged flats and dunes

of a northern shore, its dulse and its seabirds,

its divisions of brine-maddened grass

pouring over dykes to secure

the aftermath of the reign of the meek.

That was as much of hope that the purest

and saddest were prepared to allow for.


Out of those scenes she arrived, not from a shell

but licked with the wet cold fires of St Elmo,

angel of the last chance, teaching us

the fish in the rock, the fern's

bewildered tenderness deep in the fissure.


That day the clatter of stones

as we climbed was a sermon

on conscience and healing,

her tears a startling deer

on the site of catastrophe.