Thursday 18 January 2007


I have a unfounded belief that I can do things, if only I try. For example, Dowsing has always fascinated me - so much so that I am the proud owner of a pair of dowsing rods, and had the honour to be shown the ropes by people who actually know about these things. And I was still rubbish.
My mother (aged 74) picked up the rods and found every water pipe in the area. I walked Tara, the one place on earth where I would have got a twitch out of those rods, if it was ever going to happen, but to no avail.
Hereafter, the confession of that pitiful attempt. Feel free to mock.


Twitch! I think.
Twitch, I beg.
Stumbling over uneven ground
trying to feel with rods,
and see
without looking
and walk without falling face down
in a cow pat.

I am a source of unlimited
to the man who can dowse.
He was introduced in a flurry
of West Cork accents
and I am still not sure
if he is Pat, or Aloysius or Maurice
But he is one of these three
and his two brothers also watch
ancient sprites with gleeful malice
the Dublin bint in her dowsing infancy.

I am not getting anywhere.
My Mother can dowse without effort
my own hands are clumsy
they can feel the note in a cello string
but they are not open to the music
that is water or energy.
I feel the anger of failure
I am not a good loser.
I consider faking it
but something tells me they would not
be even slightly convinced.

I am not good at this.
I listen humbly while Pat
or Maurice or Aloysius
tells me to relax, to practice
to hold, to loosen, to be more aware
to be less self conscious.
I vow to go home and walk
the length and breadth of the park
clutching these infernal rods
of course I don't-
they sit as I write
reproaching me from the sideboard.
I may be destined never to unlock
their elusive secrets.


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