Sí (poem)

Fairy Fort              – Translation of ‘Sí’

Published in A Bowl of Mysteries: Poetry Ireland Introductions Selected Poems 2017. Different versions of ‘Sí’ (‘Fairy Fort’) were published by USA e-journals Pirene’s Fountain (Summer 2012), and Setu: A Bilingual Journal of Literature, Arts & Culture (May 2017). It was substantially rewritten following the workshop with Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill in Poetry Ireland in 2017.

I stumbled on a fairy fort
on an October hill
with the wind making
seashore noises
in a holly tree
the shape of a peacock.

It turned from
a brambly hedge
to a green and amber
bowl of mysteries
and whispers
with one step up over a threshold of quartz.

Inside was just as wild,
the flailing, rusty fringes
Mexican-waving no shelter,
the sky a frosted pane
and a tumble of crows,
the fox-red bracken
feathering dark rabbit-holes.

I circled the inside
three times, sunwise
and nothing happened.
Or maybe I emerged into a
World forever changed
by my stumbling, foolhardy actions.