The Children of Lir Return to Earth


Somewhere near here, their ancient,

tattered, worn-out wings were shed,

the scruffy cloak of shabby plumage

cudgelled by the gales and seas.


At last the striving years had ceased,

but not the yearning for their childhood

innocence – the nursery, doting parents

who would reappear, parting the thin

curtain of mortality to hold them near.


Instead, four shivering old bags

of bones: two toothless, ancient crones,

two scarifying brothers, jawbones

jutting, sockets gouging cheeks.


Not yet gone from memory, they rest,

it’s said, beneath this white quartz

rock – the lumpy nub of pillow

on which coins are laid to rust

by people who believe in myth,

and people who perhaps do not,

but nonetheless feel wistfulness

for legendary times long lost.


*A site near Allihies, on the Beara Peninsula,

West Cork, is one of a number said to be the final

resting place of the Children of Lir.




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