Barcelona, London, the boat to Rosslare
Limerick, Ennis, West Clare
The people, the laughs, the pints, the adventure
Strangers whose paths briefly cross
All coming and going on their separate ways
Just as the waters of the river Fergus
Earlier rained down in a hale of warm drops
On an old man in his green fields
Working, working, working
Cold red hands
Opening gates, shutting gates
Wellies, cap and jacket
Held together by bailing twine knots

Two thousand five hundred years ago
And that oldest wandering Dharma bum of them all
Lao Tzu, said:
“A thousand mile journey
Starts with the first step”
And its for that reason
Ive journeyed these last two near sleepless
Funny and memorable days
To be here now
Anseo anois
To give my gifts of Hope
And words of thanks
To two I love dearly:
Father Finbarr and little sis G
As they take their own
New first courageous
And perhaps even a little frightening first step
Each on their own new journey
On this beautiful rock Gaia
As she takes her own journey
That three hundred and sixty five and
A quarter day revolution
Around her firey brother
In that most strangest and most beautiful
Journey of them all:
The infinite cycle of kalpa
Bang, Out, Crunch, In,
Bang, Out, Crunch, In,
Bang, Out, Crunch, In,

All on their own journeys
All coming and going
All with their own destinations
Like the Tao,
All flowing

But all in the safe and loving arms
Of this simple miracle
This beautiful and funny existence
And knowing that
We smile.



Written: Lahinch, August, Bank holiday weekend 2007)

Image: The farm, my family’s home, West Clare


  1. Anseo anois = Gaelic (native Irish language) for Here now

  2. Lao Tzu = the “old lad” who is rcckoned to have written the “Tao Te Ching” about C6 BC

  3. Stephen Mitchell version of “Tao Te Ching”, freely available online here



4 thoughts on “Journeys

  1. Fuller notes from earlier posting of the poem:

    Notes and translations

    The Sanskrit term Dharma (help·info) (Devanāgarī: धर्म, Pali transliteration dhamma), is an Indian spiritual and religious term, that means one’s righteous duty, or any virtuous path in the common sense of the term.[1] In Indian languages it contextually implies one’s religion. Throughout Indian philosophy, Dharma is present as a central concept that is used in order to explain the “higher truth” or ultimate reality of the universe. Dharma bums refers to an excellent book by Jack Kerouac

    Lao Tzu
    Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade-Giles: Laosi; also Lao Tse, Lao-Tzu, Laotze, Lao Zi, Laocius, and other variations) was a philosopher of ancient China and is a central figure in Taoism (also spelled “Daoism”). Laozi literally means “Old Master” Laozi is revered as a god in religious forms of Taoism. Credited with writing the Tao Te Ching.

    Anseo anois
    Gealic (native Irish) for “here now”

    Gaia is a primordial and chthonic deity in the Ancient Greek pantheon and considered a Mother Goddess or Great Goddess. Later in the 60′s ecologist, James lovelock, developed Gaia hypothesis, an ecological hypothesis that considers the earth’s ecosystem as a single organism.

    Lila (Sanskrit: लीला), or Leela is a concept within Hinduism literally meaning “pastime”, “sport” or “play”. It is common to both monistic and dualistic philosophical schools, but has a markedly different significance in each. Within monism, Lila is a way of describing all reality, including the cosmos, as the outcome of creative play by the divine absolute (Brahman). These ideas were popularised by author Robert M Pirsig in his book of the same name, Lila

    A kalpa is a Sanskrit word meaning an aeon, or a long period of time in Hindu (cf. Hindu Time Cycles ) and Buddhist cosmology. There is a mention of the word “kalpa” in the earliest Hindu religious texts. It also occurs in Buddhist texts.

    Tao (道, Pinyin Dào ) is a metaphysical concept found in Taoism, Confucianism, and more generally in ancient Chinese philosophy. While the character itself translates as “way,” “path,” or “route,” or sometimes more loosely as “doctrine” or “principle,” it is used philosophically to signify the fundamental or true nature of the world. It was summed up in the 2500 year old book Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell edition) in which the strange origins of the word are outlined:

    There was something formless and perfect
    before the universe was born.
    It is serene. Empty.
    Solitary. Unchanging.
    Infinite. Eternally present.
    It is the mother of the universe.
    For lack of a better name,
    I call it the Tao.

    Lahinch or Lehinch (Irish: An Leacht or An Leacht Uí Chonchubhair, meaning The Memorial cairn of O’Connor) is a village on Liscannor Bay, on the northwest coast of County Clare, in northern Munster, Ireland.

  2. A friend in Brazil, put a call out for something he was involved in, I sent him in this poem, heres how it mixed in:

    It is with great pleasure that I am the host of this month’s Multicultural Kids Blogs Carnival. The theme this month is ‘Where do you come from?’ which can be a tricky question for lots of people to answer in this modern world. But as many brighter people than me have said, how can you know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been?

    …An Irish Eco Dude In Brazil doesn’t give us any definite answers, but his evocative poem seems to suggest that is the ‘Journeys‘ we are on to find the answers that are as important as the answers themselves.

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