Country roads wind where shadows linger in the light,
where whispers have withered like leaves out of season,
where the green grows in grandeur over this ancient land,
often fought for, never forgotten, where former footprints
entwine around the rolling hills and half fallen walls
of wishes that once held lovers, that once courted kisses
by knotted trees where dreams took root, when getting away
from the grass long grown was the latest calling
after Ireland’s rugged rising and falling, a nation whose
conservation of caustic comedy is more ingrained
than the moss that bursts through the cobbled stones
of home. Country roads wind as cars chase onwards
like time ticks behind us and we wonder how far we can go,
frightened we may never make it back, but we are made
of movement; seeds sewn and struggling to be seen
centre stage, mid field, along the midway as I pass
a clutter of cattle slowed by a stretch of sun as bleak days
blow over, are brushed back from the smothered south,
the light now returning after Ophelia’s brief calling;
the maiden no longer ‘sweet for the sweet’ but distress
was still caught in her caress. Country roads wander now,
ever onwards, through these humble hills and varied valleys,
like the trenches time tracks on our skin; growing up,
going out, getting old, these tosses and tumbles like life,
like this light, like the path we pave, sometimes on starved soil,
sometimes over fields of fortune, always the shadow
cast on the current of the light, always the twist and turn;
but the brook bends to bare the bother, always the steady stream;
the tear to wash across the laughter, always the leaf
at the will of the wind; the question of where I am going,
always the path we’ve already plodded; the memory
of where we have been. Country roads wind around
a hundred million echoes of a hundred thousand dreams
in the land of a hundred thousand welcomes.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly 

All photographs taken this weekend in Lusk, Country Dublin, Ireland

CEAD MILE FAILTE is the Irish greeting meaning a hundred thousand welcomes in Gaelic. 


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