Lorraine Carey

Malin Head  

The cliff top tower stands grey as a threat, its history 

        boarded up

               with salt-bleached timbers and rusted nails. 

Walk a path to Hell’s Hole, a deep cleft of rock,

         fall off 

               the earth into an ocean, the blue of a sea glass nugget;

tumbled by a century of storms.

           Don’t let 

                sea foam fool, white and cold as snow; 

thief of ships and men. 

           Underneath, shells 

                 of scattered U-boats rest with barnacled wrecks of liners.

Anemones dance on prows, tumble through crumbling railings 

            ribboned in 

                  kelp and fronds. Auroras streak winter nights 

where balletic light is sacred as prayer. 

             I note 

                  EIRE, a meticulous arrangement of white stones, 

neutrality on stubbled ground. Grass tufts thatch the land, thread 

             ochre flecks, 

                  burnt umber and cadmium specks, only thrift 

blooms from rock fissures, blossoms all summer long. 

            Like dispersing

                 dandelion clocks, each track’s a well worn promise

and as spindrift salts my skin, cloaks my face in a grainy film,

            I pledge 

                 to return to this hostile place with its stinging winds

tethered to memory, take a last walk around this precipice 

              rising from 

                     white Atlantic spume, its keening ringing in my ears.

Lorraine Carey’s poems are widely published in Poetry Ireland Review, Magma, Panoply, Gyroscope Review, Orbis, Prole, Rust+Moth, One, The High Window, The Stony Thursday Book and The Honest Ulsterman, among others. A Pushcart nominee, she has work forthcoming in Allium and Softblow. Originally from Donegal, she now lives in Kerry.