I always knew that the view from Carousel Writers’ Centre was inspiring.
But when someone else who is new to the scene writes about what can be seen; and what cannot be seen but is presumed to be out there… When someone else just gets it… Then you know that you’ve found the perfect place.
Jack O’ Rourke joined Carousel in September; new to writing he said… I think he may have been practising quietly on the side…
This short but poignant piece entitled Land’s Cape, moved me, as only exceptional writing can. As it captures the scene from the Carousel Writers’ Centre window completely, I felt the need to share…Land’s Cape by Jack O’Rourke
Burnt sienna sun dips drowsy into Hellfire. A ravel of rivulets helter-skelter down Montpelier hill to feed streams joining forces with the river as it serpentines to the sea, past a patchwork of fields sewn in stone and shrub, where sheep supper silent on lush grassland. The paddock keeps a chestnut mare, tending to a foal and her own needs. Something distracts. Curious, she approaches, regards me closely, I respond, enthralled. Equine beauty, exudes ethereal presence. Calm telepathic eyes peer into the essence willing truth to surface. Sudden, the spell is broken. With a shake of mane I’m dismissed. Audience ended, she turns away, snorts, whinnies, calling her colt to come, follow, play, return to their world. She’s had enough of humans for now.
Deer, startled, seek refuge in the scented forest. And there on that fatal slope, the graveyard where my youngest sister lies, in a gated community of souls sutured fast to eternity. Nearby, churches differing in faith, ply their trade with bell, book and sermon, in the sleepy village dissected by a motorway suspended in mid-air. Our jugular vein of commerce.
Below, the city’s a crumpled shawl thrown artlessly over nature’s shapely shoulders to cover her charms. Amid the apparent stillness a frantic need to be somewhere else takes hold. An army of commuters home-wards dash. Distant faces commune exclusively to hand-held devices, disconnect from travel companions, avoiding eye-contact, they language reluctantly with a look, or a pose, in the confines of bus and train.The D.A.R.T crammed with humanity, trundles along a wandering track which necklaces Dublin’s Neapolitan bay, past sheer cliffs carved by wind and wave. Evening tide rushes in to smother the shore with kisses, wet salty everlasting love. Adjacent to ‘the shelly banks’, giant barber-surgeon poles scalpel skies. Smoking Pigeon-house chimney stacks power the populace. Countless lights ignite. Fireflies, they glow, sparkle, pulse and synapse, dancing about the impending gloom. Nightlife is stirring.
The good ship Jonathan Swift outward bound, charts a course for the pencilled horizon. In her wake seabirds shriek, telling tales of loss and tantalizing bounty to the listening moon. And the moon. The moon is a Faberge egg gift-wrapped in ribbons of damask silk. Into thin air a jet-plane carries our brightest away, they who dare to clutch at stars. Flying past Massey’s mystic wood, where migrant redwood and giant sequoia bed and board. His lordship’s demesne is bordered by a military road built at behest of ‘the crown’. The ground shakes still, trampled on by redcoats, marching bold in britches white to the tune of fife and drum. Muskets and men, sent to quell rebellion and stamp out all resistance.
Above Mount Venus, a kestrel hovers patient for its prey. Could that shadow be the ghostly ‘Black cat of Killakee’, who slinks along the garden wall, directing my gaze to a nameplate shrouded in history? Aisling. Vision of sorrow, ever faithful, waits, prays, yearns for her hero’s homecoming. His promise destined to remain unfulfilled. The plaque marks an opening, inviting visitors up a tarmac drive, that climbs steeply to our vantage point. This house, mounted on a hill, set like a jewel in the living landscape.