Jump to content

The Long Lane – Poppy Hunt / Wild Orchids, Windflowers – Theo Dorgan

June 24th - 30th 2013

Poppy Hunt The Long Lane

Theo Dorgan Wild Orchids, Windflowers

Wild Orchids, Windflowers

by Theo Dorgan

The long lane curves out beside the lake,
swagged mist in the hawthorns either side.
Leaf rot in the ditches, dust on the verge,
green tunnel of ash and silver birch.

Time you were taking your way to the land of the dead.

The lane joins a country road, drops to the valley.
Bridge then, stone arch, birds in the stream.
Out into sun, a broad land of fields, the long hill
upward, light breaking everywhere on rock,

Time thick in your throat on the road to the land of the dead.

Now the wide highway, built in these last years.
Turn to the west, walk on into the shadow
of your self, this self you made in the long afternoons —
the pen laid down, hand flat on the board.

Evening now, still quiet, on the road to the land of the dead.

Then finally, there up ahead, the wall of stars.
The black vault of time, the heft of glory — you turn,
you fall back along your march,
down the broad highway, the road, the funnelling lane,

back the long journey from the land of the quiet dead

to the house under the trees. Light in the window, voices;
lamp on the deal table, a glass of whiskey, a pen.
Blackbird rustling under the laurel, woodsmoke;
you settle your shoulders, you lift the latch, you step in.

i.m. John McGahern, 1934-2006

Reproduced by kind permission of the author