A Poem from Walkabout, by Mark Patrick Hederman.

This short post comprises an introduction to a book by Michael Patrick Hederman entitled Walkabout.

Those who have read John Moriarty‘s Dreamtime or indeed visited Tara in the last years (wherein the bisection of the Gabhra Valley to accommodate the M3) will like this attached poem. Walkabout is a wonderful book  with themes and concepts that are attractive to me. I like the way Hederman thinks and how he writes , which is more than can be said for a certain FF Minister who seems to espouse pseudo-creationist ideas and even launches books for the most-suspect types of people.

For readers of poems and poetry, I am adding the following poem as an introduction to a  concept. An antidote to the ridiculous situation last night in Ireland regarding the launch of a book which for all the wrong reasons comprises an alliance between pseudo-thought and pseudo-religiousity.

The links at end are to three books which I think are related somewhat to the themes found within the poem and the thinkers who define for us an absence in myth. (and a lot of appalling garish noise). What occurs in the absence of mythos is a void and one suspects that the greatest tub-thumpers will willingly make use of it. I am for Hederman’s dignity and writing.


The word for a ‘province’ in Irish is ‘fifth’.
The fifth one : Meath or ‘middle’ place,
is secret : a drawer, or priest-hole,
a sliding door oiled into space
rock-faced , as in sheer of cliff.

‘We’ll find them’, callow children laughed
on mid-term breaks
in plastic macs.
‘Don’t drive. We’ll walk.’
They held a compass : North, North-West
and tied a thread to leave a trail.

We found one body in a field
metal-detected teeth through lime
walking-shoes out on a ledge.
One child survived. Now ninety-nine
  one plain, one purl, hand-knitted
time of sorrow. For
‘Wherever you walk in Ireland
you reach the edge.

Cóiced , by Mark Patrick Hederman , from The Book of the Icons , Walkabout. Publ Columba Press 2005.

Reading is not always about being literal. The obit that I wrote for John Moriarty has been filed until I go back to the Dreamtime book and examine again the Conaire and Tara pieces. It is funny how close Moriarty’s ideas of trishagion, sanctus and kedushah came  to the spirit of the Hederman book. Maybe we are all on various Walkabouts that reject the literal-minded reductio ad absurdum of  learned illiteracy amongst those of us who refuse to read the books that are so readily available to us.

 Mark Patrick Hederman ‘Walkabout’
John Moriarty ‘Dreamtime’
 The Maps Category on Poethead

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