‘Songs of the the Sea’ by Eleanor Hooker

Songs of the Sea

At Kilmore town ancient carols are sung,
legend says the sea will drown their town.
Casting stones into the sea is wrong,
storm-crested waves drag silent sail down.

Legend says the sea will drown their town,
a silver coin beneath the mast brings luck.
Storm crested waves drag silent sail down,
church bells sound when sinking ships are struck,

A silver coin beneath the mast brings luck.
true to say, what the sea wants, it gets,
church bells sound when sinking ships are struck,
a curlew’s flight makes fair-wind sailors fret.

True to say, what the sea wants, it gets,
casting stones into the sea is wrong,
a curlew’s flight makes fair-wind sailors fret,
at Kilmore town ancient carols are sung.
 
(published in The Shadow Owner’s Companion, Dedalus Press 2012)
 
Author’s note: I was fascinated to hear from a fellow RNLI crew that in Kilmore, legend has it that unless their beautiful ancient celtic hymns are sung every Christmas, the sea will take their town. There are many superstitions around sea lore, but this one fired up my imagination. The hymns are haunting, slow and chant like, I was trying to get that sway and rhythm in this pantoum. The Kilmore Carols.
 
 
 
 
Eleanor Hooker is an Irish Poet and Writer. Her second poetry collection A Tug of Blue (Dedalus Press) was launched October 2016. The Shadow Owner’s Companion (Dedalus Press) is her first collection of poetry. Twitter @EleanorHooker_