Ann Egan; The Astoundment Of Fuamnach, Fuamnach And Midir’s Obsession

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. 

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