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Great Good Places III – Ailbhe Ní Bhriain / Westering Home – Bernard O’Donoghue

March 4th - 10th 2013

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain Great Good Places III

Bernard O’Donoghue Westering Home

Westering Home

by Bernard O’Donoghue

Though you’d be pressed to say exactly where
It first sets in, driving west through Wales
Things start to feel like Ireland. It can’t be
The chapels with their clear grey windows,

Or the buzzards menacing the scooped valleys.
In April, have the blurred blackthorn hedges

Something to do with it? Or possibly
The motorway, which seems to lose its nerve
Mile by mile. The houses, up to a point,

With their masoned gables, each upper window
A raised eyebrow. More, though, than all of this,
It’s the architecture of the spirit;
The old thin ache you thought that you’d forgotten-

More smoke, admittedly, than flame;
Less tears than rain. And the whole business
Neither here nor there, and therefore home.


from Selected Poems

By kind permission of the author and Faber