Thursday 16 March 2023

Lost words


I wonder what Manchán Magan would call it

The man of Thirty Two Words for Field in Irish

This cupping of the hand

as if to hold an instrument

This daily stooping under trees

beneath a canopy of bird song

This ritual of gathering

enough kindle to light a fire

This dying practice of foraging

up boreen or in city park

This bringing home of just enough

no more, no less

than the width of a palm.


Bos-the word for palm in Irish

also means a slap, or a lick and a promise

The slap of branches

The lick of a flame

The promise of fire

Lán boise- a palmful

I think I’ll settle for that

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2023 All rights reserved

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