Friday 19 January 2007

Manannán Mac Lir

Of all the Old ones Mannanán is my favourite male. I love his story, his icongraphy. Especially I love his relationship with Fand, who gave up her Love not to hurt his feelings and his pride. This poem came to me in Dingle five years ago, but took another year of knocking round the back of the head to actually come out.

Manannan Mac Lir

Manannán Mac Lir
King of the Western Wave
Quick to anger and brave
driving the Wave sweeper
Fand by his side,
Even now, she dreams of the great warrior
The love she sacrificed for Mannanán Mac Lir

These mortals do plague him
Fascinate and madden him
Mongan the sweet fruit of Caintigerna
His prize beyond words
And with indulgence he can contemplate
The strange ways of these children
As the mirror of his son

He is the slant of the setting sun
Across the cliff-tops of Clare
The wild call of the gulls in the storm
Fand reaches out to him with a smile
And points to the rise of the Beara peaks
And the touches of gold in his beard and hair
Are the colour of the world at dawn.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


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