Part I

Here, here:
Upon the navel of this holy land;
This land of holy water, holy soil;
They stand their contraband grand claims to fame:
Meddling peddlers of ritual slaughter and turmoil,
Despoiling Lia Fail:
this cradle of royal kingship,
Kinship, cleaving, habitual weaving of gods and men.

Here, here:
Beside this stone where High Kings once were crowned, renowned,
To reeve but not to own;
These thieves leave brands to share the throne
They fail to understand.
These cults of death defame the earth;
Their headstones maim the ground.
The sound of rooks replace church bells
And mock the rock-like saint;
Their call a knell to end this defacing regimen.

Part II

Down by the shop of dainty neo-pagan tat I saw a man:
So it began, that end of taint.
Tall and straight, with warrior gait, endowed with air of grace;
With corn-bright hair and eye the hue
Of summer sky, he could have borne a crown.
The frown upon his brow traced scorn;
Wry twist to lips bestowing light amusement,
Bemusement; withal beguiling,
Reviling what he viewed.

How came he here, this passer-by
In casual wear? And why? For prayer, or piety?
Perhaps; if so, for older gods,
Whose feet had trod these sods in aged lays.
He trapped my stare, and so was I
Cantripped by this rare mage of might and wit.
Thus, page-equipped,
He stepped upon his way.

At Patrick's plinth he spoke one word:
A sword of syllable which struck the saint,
And broke his myth by monolithic stroke.

His tread upon the church's ground rang loud,
Proud, repossessing;
And graves gave up their gangs of shrouded souls.
The discomposed dead, professing other godhead, rose with the rooks,
Whose clangour clamoured all around the close.
Those woeful throes, wound round, unthreading,
Dispossessing, mounds and mason's craft.
And, in return, redrafting, up sprang good dryad wood,
And on each bole a named memorial.
Nor did these yearning spirits spurn
To claim arboreal sojourn.
The disused church, now roofless and defenestrated,
Became a rest for rooks and nests.

Beyond, the embossed land craved Longhand's cure.
Responding as he crossed each crest:
Adjuring his tenure.
Its shadowed fosses shifted,
Restless with faint shapes which drifted.
Before my gaping, spellbound gaze
Turf now tossing swallowed
The Army's graveshead in its waves.

Hallowed hollows render what was;
And all the rows surrender old gods.
Here, here, time is rent and grounded;
Here, once again, the mythos founded.
What comes now I cannot say;
But here, at last, old gods hold sway.

© Alexa Duir 2006

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