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GUEST,Faithful Departed Poem Of the Moment... (4) RE: Poem Of the Moment... 26 Jul 01

By Des Walsh ... Reproduced in the sleeve notes of Paddy Keenan's Ná Keen Affair.

Talamh An Éisc (Land Of The Fish) ... for Paddy Keenan

Across centuries of salt-drenched myths,
this is where we live now,
this is where we belong,
our hearts lined with fragments,
butlike the lichen-covered rock,
unaffected by storm.
Our souls are in every boulder
that inches its way to the sea,
we rule the meadows they
have claimed and the
gulls that rest there.
We sing to the drowned,
tear-soaked families and
cling to the broken truths that
made us call this home, our voices
crying out over the pounding waves,
only to be blown back to a sparrow's throat,
to have the melody cradled
in the arms of spruce and wind.
We are the songs of the weather.
Back then, when these harbors
showed themselves only to
St. Brendan and the Beothuck,
we came for fish, their scales becoming ours
their justice becoming ours.
Back then, when the echoes of a
single note would ring out and
caress our granite graves,
we would sing ourselves to sleep,
women would kiss the ocean,
their mouths smoothing the water that has
called us all back to this place,
to hear that note again, that
will sound in our hearts forever.

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