Moon of Horses/Rose Moon/Green Corn Moon/Lotus Moon
I wrote this poem some years ago so I've dug it out now as its time has returned.
Remembrance of Tara
A sticky June day has lost its intensity
To become an old and forgiving evening
And nowhere on earth has time more propensity
To dawdle and dwell than on the Hill of Tara.
Darkness too is slow and lazy in its coming;
It humbly kneels before the summer solstice.
Blue twilight air is circling with fairy magic
Evoking the noble spirit of Fianna dead
Alive in nocturnal halls, doomed and tragic
In the grey dawn and toppled by morning.
Romance is pulled from history by the moon
Rising sickle and sweet over St. Patrick
So the shadows move and dance in the warm light,
Unafraid they play to a ghostly, melodic harp,
Undaunted by Trim, Navan, Slane and Dunshaughlin light
Shimmering in the dark distance, seeping at a glance.
Tara floats above the world of men, tainted and sleeping
In the lowland where few even dream of Xanadu.
Beating drums and shrill pipes sound out to folklore
And its heroes: Oisin ag teacht trasna na dtonnta
As Diarmaid and Grainne are reunited by the fire
Where Fionn and Aenghus share the salmon of knowledge.
The druids, those hooded men lift hands to the sky,
Mixing the stars with berries and herbs and water.
The bard, file and fool, speaking aloud the dusky poem,
Pre-empting Yeats and the honey that dripped from his pen.
Salt of the earth in the bread they break on table tops,
Wheat and flour on wood and pagan prayer.
Men of ash and women of dust relive the hour
Before the grave with flowers blooming in their hair.
The dead are quick to evade the approaching dawn.
Like amber stone the sun sits on the horizon,
Glinting golden, beauty caught in a blackbird’s song
Heralding a new day of birth, death and all in-between.
Tara lies still, a hump on Meath’s back, a geographical fact,
A landmark along the main Navan to Dublin road.
Orla Fay 2002