Clifton Redmond

(7-4-1982 / Carlow)

Children of the bog


Here
lies the past
dead
the poor forgotten children of the bog
that found no solace in the harsh swamps
buried down in the blackened soup
the holy well of the bog lands

Now
they lie like stones
frozen
strewn into the soft murky pulp
where the bull rush grows
stretching like stalky flowers
gathering on the unmarked graves


How
deep they lie
forgotten
in their muddy sodden holes
with the mighty oak trunk
the chalice and the branch
counting no moments they lie still

Time
heaps on the sod
caged
among the peat stones
and the torture of the year’s
perfect preservation in the heart of the land
forged and grieved by no man’s eyes

Gone
into the earth
forever
ground and cemented as the sun gutters
and forges layers of decomposed earth
into the pudding soft belly of the bog

Still
within the cradle of the moor
they lay
cursed by themselves as their brown faces
spurt no blood nor pagans smile
in the mouth of the mother they succumb
like statue children stale and stone
portrayal

Submitted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is based on the classic poem by the great Irish poet Seamus Heaney
about the unearthing of the “Tolland man” in a Norwegian bog.
Here I am posing the thought that there are such remains still in the bogs of Ireland.

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