Ekphrastic scrapings (Deirdre)

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Gaelic Horseman on crest of the Curlew Mountains, Roscommon-Sligo border

Gaelic Horseman

Lofty on a distant hill
you stand solitary,
in command,
On this rushy hillside,
Your army of shades,
invisible to us
ready to ambush
guarding the way to Sligo.

Armed men struggled upwards
through this desolate land,

lured by promises of meat,
of rest and recovery,
their feet sucked down
in the boggy ground.
Pushed beyond their limit
They fall in bloody ambush.
Observer of all that moves below,
you stand in reflection,
your horse stilled forever,
forever poised for take off.
You have moved across time
from your high position
you gain perspective,
reflective of changes.
You know your day is done,
your way is gone
invader and traitor
their boundaries blurred
in unholy alliance.
The art of the possible,

the lower way.
Today’s travellers speed past
with barely a backward glance,
insulated in their cars
21st century armour
against the elements,
that damp westerly wind
singing of sea and broad Atlantic.

Close up you are less beautiful
scarred and rusted,
names scraped onto your rusting flanks,
seeking memorial.
I was here they proclaim,
before rain and wind blow
and rust their marks away.

 

 

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