The night dropped its curtain at eight. What drew me out was the chance to see Jupiter sitting just below the moon (and a dog that had those 'walk me now please' eyes). Taking the flashlight and a slightly less traversed route, it brought me down a bumpy track which ended at a gate and two weed covered pillars. The pillar on the right bore the surname 'Reidy'. Beyond stood an old two storey stone farmhouse, the Curlews called out on the shore to the north and the moon appeared briefly from behind too much cloud. It could have been straight out of a 1940s epic about old Eire. It was calm, peaceful yet a touch sad also. Wild unpopulated landscapes are magical, they hold mystery and often bring out the best in naturalists, writers, artists and musicians. Then there are these old deserted houses. I try to imagine a summers sun creeping across a flag stoned floor. A kettle on the boil, someone getting ready for the days labor. Perhaps the family 'Reidy' made that house alive until America or foreign parts called too loudly. I hope the echos within are happy ones.
Is it too much for one man to handle?
To encompass so many years with just a single theory,
The empty farmsteads - the tea bottles buried out in the bogs,
Someday nectar for some future archaeologist,
But why leave?
Was it famine that cracked the whip of starvation?
Maybe it was the isolation,
The land just wasn't enough it seems,
The weekends without the laughter of women,
The worn roads to the sea no longer bustle with those wagons of kelp,
Weed covered machinery - rusted red from Saturday nights tears,
When you rub your face free of Manhattan sweat,
It is with the hardened hands of your ancestors,
Calloused and baptised with County Clare dirt.