not God-forsaken geography

i have had a long-abiding love for near-desolate bogs in the Irish countryside. they hold so many secrets from ancient history, flat horizons, bog cotton and unseen birds singing. my prose poem attempts to capture all this mystique.


  • Wheel-worn earth, compacted bog road; small stone grit crunch underfoot. Summer air: cheeks hot flushed. Ancient animal motors in verge grass: insects click and whirr. Distant melody muffled, repetitious, skylark speck; cloudless sky, flutter tumble falls, charading, descending warbling whistle.

    Turf banks, cut away slabs, chocolate cake-like; stagnant pools, bullrushed, heather topped hulls, blackened brown, ooze decayed vegetation. Once-upon-a time-trees, lame lost branches, twigs agonise primal, twist suffer.

    Hollow mossy plank, decaying bridge spanning stagnant canal, soft bog-cotton clusters marking marshland. Boyhood with bog-cotton, childish aspirations: parents, silk-soft woven mohair; chunky wooden looms, hand motored, industrious noise-clatter.


    Bucking-bumpy bog road; stones ping off spokes, rough tyre rumble; raised bog beckons. Unbridled wildish horses, stoically munching stringy grasses; birds giggle in undergrowth. Dismount bike, lay it sideways, squat down on surface: drink in antiquarian landscape.

    Wind rolling, bowling down from Slievebloom mountains; reeds bend in abeyance: surrender, offer little defence. Dull, fat umbrella of cloud; crash-ominous, fall threaten, wind cracked bully banners.

    Imminent shelter sought, zip up; no tree shelter, no windbreak walls: flood-like rain fall threatens. Muffled hammering, distant farmyard conversation, breeze-broadcasted rural accents mumble.

    Swallows screech, cluster call; surface sweeping, hoovering up insects. My foot tread hollow sounding, springy underfoot: peat granule sprays as shoe stumbles. Wide open space, spongy soiltop; peaty aroma: mellow cigar smoke hint…

    Push-off pedal, swing leg over. Farewell lonely landscape: scarfed wind, faintly smelt flowers; time-composed aged bog oak, silvered; holy hush, not God-forsaken geography: almost sacred, everlasting….


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