‘The Gift of the Morning Star’ © Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Gift of the Morning Star’
© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

My gaze is upon that blood-red Irish sky,
on living colours captured by my amateur brush.
The setting sun retiring for the day,
reflecting on the calming Atlantic waters.
Soft waves in encroachment bathe a Celtic shore,
erasing my footsteps from the golden sand.

Overhead, the seagulls cry in their homeward flight..
A carpet of starlings swirl in their millions, Dervish like.
The speeding bat shows off his aeronautical skills.
My eyes closed, I inhale the breath of the soft west wind.
Ocean waters steal a kiss from Érin’s shingled shore,
then slip slowly back before returning to steal another.

I feel small when I look at the stars, microscopic.
Aware that I am a mere insect in a wondrous creation.
I tip my hat to the setting sun as it slips away.
Slips away to bid others good day as it lights their morning
Where shivering souls welcome the gift of the morning star,
and another painter, in another place, erects another easel.

I light my campfire, cook my gift from the ocean.
Retire to my battered tent and escape the bothering midge.
All is well in my world as I retreat twixt the sheltering dunes.
On the morrow I shall rejoin the race, mingle with fellow creatures.
That army of ants scurrying unceasingly in pursuit of existence.
But for now I will rest and await the flame of tomorrow.

Photo: Sunset across Lower Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh


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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.