Irish Poem of the Week: The Mayo Tao by Derek Mahon

Strive for simplicity

Top of the Tent

The Mayo Tao

I have abandoned the dream kitchens for a low fire
and a prescriptive literature of the spirit;
a storm snores on the desolate sea.
The nearest shop is four miles away –
when I walk there through the shambles
of the morning for tea and firelighters
the mountain paces me in a snow-lit silence.
My days are spent in conversation
with deer and blackbirds;
at night fox and badger gather at my door.
I have stood for hours
watching a salmon doze in the tea-gold dark,
for months listening to the sob story
of a stone in the road, the best,
most monotonous sob story I have ever heard.

I am an expert on frost crystals
and the silence of crickets, a confidant
of the stinking shore, the stars in the mud –
there is an immanence in these things
which drives me, despite my scepticism,
almost…

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About maskednative

There is a gazebo at the end of the garden. It overlooks the estuary. When the tide is in, sea water pools around seaweed covered rocks. The sound is peaceful, meditative. I drink an early morning coffee, listen to the birds singing morning songs, watch a spider spin his fragile life between timber beams above my head. Even in the harshest of winters, the rise and fall of tides, sun-light on water, movement of sky, cloud, moon and stars, allows an awareness of nature behind the mask of perceived reality. I offer my words and pictures in celebration and gratitude to God, for allowing me a glimpse behind the mask. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Bio: Teri Flynn was born in Wales of Welsh and Irish Parents. Educated in England, she moved to Co.Waterford, Ireland in 1997 where her Poetry has since appeared in “The Turning Tide” – an anthology of new writing from Co.Waterford. “Southward” The Journal of the Munster Literature Centre and “Imagine” The Tallow Writers Group quarterly review. Her poetry appears in “Sticky Orchard”, a group effort with Alan Garvey, Jim O’Donnell and Anthony O’Neill and grant assisted by Waterford County Council’s Arts Grant Scheme. “Listening To The Grass Grow” with Jim O’Donnell and Anthony O’Neill was published by Edward Power at Rectory press and most recently, in ‘Murmurings’, Remembering Anthony O’Neil, with Jim O’Donnell and Alan Garvey. Her poem Queen Of The Sea was included in the Chesapeake Exhibition at RUH, Bath, 2011. Figurehead Carver, Andy Peters. Photographic display of Ship’s Figurehead Carvings by Richard Sibley – http://www.tallshipsgallery.com A themed display of her oil paintings and poems entitled Cynefin, were on display in Waterford during The Imagine Festival in 2017. Cynefin-pronounced kuh-nev-in is a Welsh word meaning habitat or place. A place where a being feels it ought to live, where nature around you feels right and welcoming.
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10 Responses to Irish Poem of the Week: The Mayo Tao by Derek Mahon

  1. Tom says:

    Teri, thanks for posting this. The simplicity of mindfulness that resides just beyond the edge of language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SirenaTales says:

    Oh, how rich and playful and lovely, Teri. Thanks so much for sharing, as I had not been familiar with Mahon’s work….but his painterly poem kindles some body memories in me from my long ago honeymoon in your amazing land! Hope all is well with you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. urdamage says:

    Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful share, connecting to nature.. 🙂 Its lovely… Thank you for bringing it to us..
    And only sorry I am late in getting here to read it.. xx ❤ Sue

    Liked by 1 person

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