Diamond Hill Today

by Liam Boyle -


Now that the county is our oyster

and the weather app promises a window

before evening rain

we decide on an afternoon walk,

boardwalk over bog, a slight incline,

after lunch in The Purple Door, Leenane.


We start on a gravel path, a marked trail.

Now and then younger walkers,

lithe and light-footed, glide past.

This is the place to be,

crossing patches of bog on planks,

sniffing yellow furze in bloom,

stepping on lichen stained stones.


The slope gets steeper till,

faced with a wall of stone, I baulk,

I pause a moment, then press on,

rough slabs form steps slapped before me.

This is tougher than I thought.


A drizzle drenches me,

a welcome coolant on my face,

but the steps are slippier.

I climb with care, frequent breaks

to quell the lactate in my legs.

With each break I gaze at the changing scenery -

the higher I am the farther I see

back beyond Letterfrack.


At the summit I am Zeus

surveying the world of humans

as wind buffets my face and tosses my beard.

Through drizzle I see

hikers like ants on the trail below,

farms and bogland stitched together,

a car beetling along road

between tiny villages,

a silver thread of river

flecked white with distant waterfalls,

Kylemore Abbey a child’s toy

tucked at the edge of a pool.


In front, hills, harbour, sea, islands.

Behind, Twelve Pins like titans’ teeth

threatening to chomp.

And here, sparkling quartz and white marble

remind me of the age of mountains,

the age of rock and earth,

and how this height once was

the bottom of the sea.

 

Liam Boyle was born in Drogheda and moved to Galway in the 1970s. He wrote poetry in his teens and twenties but then stopped. He started again recently and has rediscovered its joys and challenges. He has been published in the Galway Advertiser's Vox Galvia page and has been a featured reader on Galway’s Over the Edge readings.