Passing Water on the Beara and Glancing over to the Ring of Kerry


by John Kinsella

With the snow-caps of Macgillicuddy’s Reeks
across the water, the road up Caherkeen towards
Lackawee mountain, a proud peak of the Slieve Miskish
range that tests translation, leaving even a thick-skinned
punster shame-faced, the scene brings adrenaline
and urine to full measure. Driving into a layby
with the roads empty and a précis of topology
reducing vastness to a patch of broken stone,
sheep indifferent or distracted by their own
pissings, I mark territory which is not mine,
concentrating through bitter cold to pass water
where storms have eroded confidence
in all surfaces, in their ability
to see a journey through.
I can say, though, that I will
take none of this back to cities,
won’t skite about it as photogenic moment,
lament leaving such a landscape,
having taken it all in, exposed
myself to the elements,
steam rising from the hillside.

About the Author:

John Kinsella is an Australian poet, novelist, critic, essayist and editor.