Last week we were in County Clare, over in Ireland, visiting family and having our first visit and sighteseeing trip to the Eire. The flight from Edinburgh to Shannon was ridiculously fast at under an hour - but still long enough time to wonder if the Ryanair cabin crew were taking the mickey trying to sell smokeless cigarettes! While there I had a go at some Haiku, trying to condense richly varied experiences into 17 syllables. As a piece of indulgence because I am still on holiday I'm going to inflict some holiday photographs and several Haiku on unsuspecting, and even suspicious visitors.
Recently been listening to Chris De Burgh. Used to have several vinyl albums and never replaced them with CDs. One of his best love songs is Connemara Coast, which I've listened to a lot recently. The love for the country and his woman are both celebrations of beauty that needn't negotiate a surrender - the heart is won.
We spent a brilliantly sunlit day going up through Connemara and Joyce Country as far as Kylemore Abbbey (pictured) - a round journey of 270 kilometres. The scenery through the mountains and valleys was as wild, rugged, inspiring and beautiful as the west coast of Scotland. I still enjoy the freedom and the joy of driving through country that is there to be admired, and especially if the scenery is so attractive it becomes a matter of responsible citizenship to stop rather than drive on while distracted by such unabashed natural beauty. Oh, and I promised to mention Joyce's Craft Shop up in a place called Recess - because I'd asked the proprietor how I could get a piece of uncut Connemora marble for a friend, and he raked around a barrel over in a corner, found a lovely wee piece and told me to take it back to Scotland for nothing, and tell everyone that though Ireland is skint it's folk are still generous. Absolutely so.
Here are two Haiku written out of sheer pleasure taken in looking at scenery that was breathtaking. Cliche? Yes, but a cliche is a description that though used often is sometimes used quite precisely. That's how I'm using it
Grey green pyramids,
landscaped stone, embroidered trees,
mirrored, framed with sky.
Sphagnum moss, gnarled trees,
ancient sky-reflecting lough,
green and blue at peace
The first describes a beautiful land; the second does the same, and quietly suggests a better harmony of colours than the history of Ireland, and our own West of Scotland, have often afforded. Sky and water, grass, trees and moss - the light and life of nature knows nothing of sectarian colour codes. This was a peace full day.