A poem by Vanessa Gebbie

Beara Litany
(after Paddy Bushe’s translation of the Song of Amergin)

Am the heron’s hunchbacked flight
Am the song of the tagged sea-eagle
Am the roots of Ogham stones
Am horizon’s blurred conjoining
Am a hundred shades of shadow
Am the sparrowhawk’s cry
Am the cattle on the strand
Am the gannet’s lightning psalm
Am skeins of smoke over Coulagh Bay
Am the language of the turf
Am the grieving man at dawn
Am the rain’s punctuation
Am the stubbornness of the Hag
Am attrition of wave and wind
Am the strength of limpets on the praying rocks
Am Kilcatherine’s slumbers
Am the dance of boulders
Am the fraying noose of history
Am the mourning of the sparrows
Am the ocean’s ceaseless hymning

(first published in Envoi)
Vanessa Gebbie is a novelist, short story writer, editor and teacher of writing. A relative newcomer to poetry, her poems are published in Envoi, Abridged, Tears in the Fence, The Ver Prize anthology, two WordAid anthologies and online at the Tate Modern website and Ink Sweat & Tears among others.

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