The Astoundment Of Fuamnach
The eyes of that moth,
damselfly, whatever it is,
truly astound me.
They’re as bright as gems
in the waters of the Barrow
when the sun is at its height and
salmon sleep beneath its bank
where no shadows fall.
They shine like amethyst
in the pitch of night when
hazel twigs burst into flames
and red and gold sparks
light silence in shadows.
Her wings beat, hum a song
more melancholy than lays of
the harpist at Samhain’s feast.
Her wings thrum as lightly
as the dance of an only child
tapping to meet another in
childhood’s lost gallery.
The fragrance of this fly
is like being in a garden of
wildflowers and elderberries,
perfume wafting sweetness
of a peaceful summer’s evening.
Around here they say she has
a cure for all ills and hardships,
and can create any world
the mind ever dreams about.
Look at my husband, Midir,
in search of no other, at home in
himself and a damselfly’s company.
Fuamnach And Midir’s Obsession
Midir can’t be parted from her,
wherever he goes, she goes too.
She’s always hovering around him.
If he gallops across the moors
on his white horse, the damselfly,
Etain rests on his shouder,
purple of his clothes and her wings
make her appear a royal decoration,
the two look like they are one.
When he sleeps at night,
she watches over him from
the bough of the silver birch
he’s had replanted in his chamber.
He checks she has all her needs,
dew of the rising sun,
folding sigh of the night star,
flutter of the homing swallow,
sweetness of the rowan berry.
She is as well tended indeed as
the baby I dreamed of, never had.
Can you imagine a grown man,
one in his position, castles, servants,
fields, plates of gold, silver,
plains, forests and secret terrains,
and all he wants by night is
the hum of her wings as
she folds herself in slumber
on the silkened bough by his bed.
His eyes close, gently, peacefully
for she will awaken him at once
should the thoughts of an enemy travel
to disturb the sanctity of his sleep.
Ann Egan, a multi-award winning Irish poet, has held many residencies in counties, hospitals, schools, secure residencies and prisons. Her books are: Landing the Sea (Bradshaw Books); The Wren Women (Black Mountain Press); Brigit of Kildare (Kildare Library and Arts Services) and Telling Time (Bradshaw Books). She has edited more than twenty books including, ‘The Midlands Arts and Culture Review,’ 2010. She lives in County Kildare, Ireland.