To Éire with Love

I know a few of you will remember these pieces, but I thought they were worth reposting because they reflect my experience of Ireland. Both were written on trips I made to Southern Ireland in the 1980’s. (There are also some allusions to a couple of traditional Irish folksongs…curious if anyone knows what they are) The ‘Iris’ painting was actually never quite finished. I decided to leave it so.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

I traveled there a woman
and came back a child
with my eyes full of the clouds
coming over the mountains
so I could never tell
how high they were;
the rivers going on
the irises
floating down to the sea,
the fuchsias so wild,
but not really.
All along the way
cowslips lived
where meadows survived
and milkmaids didn’t mind
the rain
so sudden
as suddenly gone.
The fields were greener than any
in France
through the glass of our visit
going down to the sea,
everywhere surrounding,
only my heart brave enough
to go on
into the waves,
a lonesome boatman calling me
to come live with him
Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

This time the blackberries were ripening, seed pods cracking, rose hips shining in the sun blowing in and out of the sky. There was honeysuckle in the hedges, like the bloom in our cheeks as we rode along. And in the gorse and heather, again and at last. The moss was a carpet laid for our steps through a wood-and-wonder-land, dark oak, grey ash (red-berried too), silver birch and airy fern. And bluebells imagined, like a strawberry tree. Elsewhere there were mushrooms, surprising us like rabbits. While jackdaws were expected at the end of a shorter day, a silent peat fire making the night and reason we were together familiar.
Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

We lived day to day; what else was there to do? Waking to the rain that misted our view. Though it was something to see the crows claiming a chimney. To warm their hearts? Or dry their wings? By the time we ate our pink bacon the mountains were rising again. So we took to the road that still sounded wet, passing the jaunters as they passed us sympathizing or gloating as we walked up another hill. Sometimes we abandoned our wheels for the slowness of our step. To stray. Even from each other. And meet like the waters where time stood. But not too still, the water boatmen as busy as we weren’t, a fat robin flirting nearer and nearer until flying away, the light always changing.
So much time. To do nothing. But eat cream cakes and salads and sandwiches. And look at the mountains surrounding us more noticeably than the sea. It seemed all the same, being in love with each other and the place; at the end of the day going the same way as the jaunters who couldn’t see us either as we climbed gates and crossed fields, trespassing where we felt welcome.

And as a bonus, from St. Patrick’s ‘Breastplate’ Prayer:

I bind unto myself today

The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

18 thoughts on “To Éire with Love

  1. Pingback: Journeying to Ireland | bardessdmdenton - prose, poetry and painting

    • Wow, Martin, how neat that you were in Ireland, albeit Northern Ireland, in the 80’s! I’ve always wanted to visit the north, but who knows if I’ll get the chance. Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks! XO


  2. The other day I watched a movie set in Ireland, ‘A Shine of Rainbows.’ The cinematography made me want to go visit this beautiful land and the imagery in your poem has made me long to go there even more. To see the green fields by the sea, the moss covered stones… I agree, the iris painting is beautiful just the way it is. Thank you, Diane, for all the sensory pleasures I found here this morning!


    • Thank YOU, Barbara. I have seen that movie and it was wonderful! I am so glad my poem evoked pleasant images for your senses and spirit. That is exactly what thoughts of Ireland always do for me. Love and hugs, Diane ♥


  3. What a lovely journey you took us on, Diane, and I love “The moss was a carpet laid for our steps through a wood-and-wonder-land.” There are so many wonderful lines, but the one above stuck with me. Your artwork, as always, is as beautiful as your written words. I’m continuously in awe whenever I visit your blog. Also, I have never been to Ireland and right now, I don’t think the opportunity will arise, so thank you for “bringing” me to this beautiful place. Sending much love and many hugs your way and a belated Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you! xoxo


    • Thank you so much, Lauren – it makes me glad that I was able to take you on the magical journey I found Ireland. And thank you for all the brightness you bring into my life through your poetry and believing, loving spirit! XO ♥


  4. I was struck by the same lines as Christine. Beautiful lines with beautiful thoughts. As always your drawings are something to savour. Thanks for re-posting this. I missed it first time round, and not to have seen it would have been a sadness


  5. Here I am Diane, all recharged!!

    As I said on facebook I remember this so well from last year. And the lines which really grabbed me and have come into my mind since are
    the very first two!
    “I travelled there a woman
    and came back a child”

    You took me there! To the mist and the mountains, the rivers and the sea. And another favourite line is
    “The fields were greener than any
    in France” and

    “Only my heart brave enough
    to go on
    into the waves”

    This is all so beautiful and describes my feelings for Ireland in a way I never could.
    And as ever I gaze at your paintings with increasing wonder and acknowledgement of your many talents.

    Love you!!! ❤

    Christine xxx


    • Thank you for your beautiful comment, Christine. When I pull these pieces about Ireland out, I remember how deeply I was affected by my visits there. I always felt something so special when my feet touched Irish ground … and I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me that I know of! I will always be grateful that I had the chance to see the REAL Ireland. Love and hugs, Diane XXXOOO


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