Blue Butterfly Poetry Winner
Mullafarry is the first prize winner of the
2008 Blue Butterfly poetry competition.
M u l l a f a r r y
[ For Karen Smith, who watched the birds ]
I passed a dead blackbird on the road today
Up Mullafarry way and wondered
What did it mean,
That splattered splay of a feathery life
Scratched out by some artistic God,
And what’s that all about?
Perhaps St Patrick knew!
He spoke to tribes up there, or so they say,
On Mullagh Hill, laid down the law
To my shaggy ancestors
Gathered in from Erris for the day.
(I see them still, that lot,
At Mart or Match, muttering
Groups of damp, boggy, silent, buckos,
Their squint eyes looking sideways at it all.)
Yes perhaps St Patrick knew
The song of that bird in the hedge
And the silence when it sang no more
I drive on, carefully, to visit Karen’s grave
Up Mullafarry way, that winding road
Is steep and dangerous as life itself,
Threaded between birdsong and silence.