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TULLAGH EGRESS

We were alone, you and I.


I turned back. 

I had to turn back.

I had to turn back to sit with you all, simply and quietly. 

I had to turn back to breathe what you did.


I sat in the grass, my fingers scratching and clawing in an attempt to grow roots.

It was cool, not cold.

Silversliver rain sliced the air before me.

Not a nuisance but beautiful, these precious razor cuts.

Bumble bees with brogues took an interest in their new guest, but we were there together.


I so wanted to be accepted, and thought of not as an intruder.  


Inside you are some hallucidream!

I could outstretch an arm to the shadow of a monk’s shoulders, scored into stone by the seasons.

Beneath it could perhaps lie that very monk.  

Outstretching the other, I could brush full and healthy leaves, as welcome within your walls as once were the faithful.  

Do they sprout from your inhabitants?

Well-rested limbs being pulled towards the sun, then long-leathered fingers changing to stems just before breaking the ground?  

Droughty veins once again filling but coursing this time with something green?


I was sitting at a threshold between death and life.


That is what brought such calm to me.


Only once did I speak, my apologies for barring the way, but the visiting German told me to stay.

He spoke of souls rising from Irish graveyards.

Is that why you have no roof?


You are in my heart, Tullagh.

Weather-eaten and worm-bored, your footings still fast in the deep.

Heavy keys on rusted rings hang ingrown at your sides. 

The stoic salted keepers of this narrow water passage.


Are all allowed to pass, I wonder, or must some turn?

Do you somehow know where ill intention lies?

Might there be more to you than an imposing tower and barnacle scars?


Perhaps.


Should I ever humbly approach, I would respect your decision at the gate.

I must be honest and admit that it would be my desire to explore through.

I would bow to your guard, brave and great, as I listened to the sea wind sing through your splinters.

Rumblerumbleshakeandshudder. 

Your rib straps rattle and your leg irons quake.

Your steely nerves must no longer know anxieties.

You are an impassable bull.


Still so steadfast after so many days, during not one has your commitment been doubted.

Such strains you bear and without complaint.

An admirable thing of service, but a prisoner of purpose.


Are you denied experience?  


There must be restlessness beneath the chipping brittle, but you are locked to the earth and it to you.

A reluctant rusted watchman.

A thousand eyes conjunctified peer at passers-by.

The collection of these sights must be quite a thing, stacked lengthwise for there is no other way.


But you are losing your bits, no doubt the result of taunting young, impatient hurricanes.

Will you one winter crack and fall to the earth?


I think, more likely, you will lengthen one evening’s stride, your flakes falling behind you, and find a place with a little more quiet. 





You are close.

I can tell. 

You are a definite thing.

You are a definite thing looking back at me.


I am simultaneously curious and intimidated.

Curiosity is ignoring the other voices, pulling my feet.

My fingers are as well being pulled, perhaps to your teeth.

The curious song is always louder.


It is the second life that attracts me.

If not for the tatter-glass, how could I see?


There is a fever behind your glare.

That is undoubtable!

Why this fever glares so, I do not know.

Do I tread where I am not welcome or do not belong? 

Do I look upon something I should not?


I will be honest with you because you have been so with me.

I am not afraid of your teeth, and will risk their gnashing for a moment with you.

However, and a great however:

I will attempt to breathe within, but quietly and dignifiedly.

It is not in my bones to do otherwise, and to do otherwise would dissolve not only my bones.

I give you my word as I approach your hill on my knees. 


What lurks in the crevices of the immortal, elusive part of the moon?

One may never know, but one must look, and try.