The walk in the gloaming

I’ll not forget 
The night in the gloaming
When day must surrender 
The light and the time
To the evening, which comes
With unhurried pace
Seeping over the land
Like turning a page
I walked the gloaming
That Kerry night gleaming
I wore the night 
Like a shawl round about me
I trudged the half light
Bent to the incline
Curved like a question, 
Marching to elsewhere, 
To other than here
I tramped the borders of daylight
And half-light 
And midnight blue seeping.
I walked with purpose, 
Not well by the wall
But out, there, where field falls,
Sudden, stops being,
Dissolving in sea-spray
To cavernous oceans
The sea’s farthest ends
I watched the changing
The purple of heather, and igneous greys
Warm swathes of the colours
That herald the night
Blanket over the day as it passes
To someone else, other,
Some other elsewhere
The darkness not dark
But clear as the day
I watched the spilling
Of inky blue evening 
Cover the field
Where the buialán* grow
The town is a speckling 
Of lights far below me
Blinking and hinting 
At life underway
My breath and the wind
And I stand for a moment
The sea at my left hand
The town far below
The stars like bright thoughts
Your thoughts, beyond kenning
You mark where I walked
Where I stopped
All my ways
Somewhere beneath me
Down there, where the lights are
A baby is dandled
And held – held to cheek
But here where the night
Hides the sight 
Of waves crashing
My breath and the wind
Sound each wave’s retreat
The vagueness of laughter
A ceilidh that’s muted
The clinking of glasses
And crackle of peat
Is a ploy of my memory
For I’m too far to hear them
The nestling town 
Couldn’t notice me gone
But I’m real as the earth
Shifting under my feet
As real as the cut-glass
Stars, dusting the heavens
The uniqueness of being
The very “I am”
That each moment serves
Each reflects something greater
That maker of gloaming light
Turning the earth
Out here where the sea birds
Cry, calling, about me
Out here in the chasm
Between twinkling lights
To the edge of the gloaming,
To the evening drawn over,
To the wings of the dawn
To the corners of morning,
Birds  fall through the gloaming
Through me, to the sea.

*buialán – I think this is an abbreviation of buachalán bui, which is a yellow wild flower (or maybe weed…) – I think it’s ragwort, but is also known as a fairy flower! This abbreviation appears in a poem by my uncle Thomas Patrick MacGloin.

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