Marie Connole 2017 All rights reserved Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Poem by Helen Hagemann
for Marie Connole
Visiting the capital of Ireland,
its country lanes and drumlins, I drove
on desired paths that took me across
the breadth of Monaghan to Sligo.
Back home you want to return to that curious
spell of country, its tidy towns of hanging
Fuchsias, painted shopfronts, an Irish aria
of how'ya doon in the mornings.
And the best was yet to come, a mailed painting
of a perched Stonechat, autumn flush of chest.
Can you hear him, chipping notes and sounds
like small stones shaken in your fist?
The Stonechat looks across fields,
towards Knotweed’s opportunity,
two drops of blood falling, red as the
ear tips of stag, or slain Celtic gods.
'Every Stonechat has a drop of the devil's
blood', says the artist. But I’d like to think
this tiny bird might snatch a severed thorn,
take flight, spread its wings against the sun,
a sprig of mischief on its mind.
The Stonechat rests on a branch above a view of the lakes and rivers of Clare. Crossing this topography are the roads and the villages of Tubber, Crusheen, Boston and Ruan each are indicated by a pearl. Three droplets of blood pierce the landscape.
The Stonechat makes a sound like stones banging togehter hence the name. The belief was that each Stonechat had a drop of the devil's blood.