The Crop Of Stones
Were they the ruins of some forgotten monastery
laid to it's rest by Henry's henchmen
or the remains of Druidic calendar
and temple of rites?
No, they are the sacred symbols
of inhuman labour
expended to create arable lands.
The toil of a grandfather's tribe,
A crop of stones dug up with broken spade.
Raked out with iron hoes,
Clawed over with blistered hands.
A man's blood leaking sacrificial homage
to unseen gods.
For in Mayo
the first three crops are stones.
Her fertility hidden under barren veils of
that fit in the palm
the size of fists and
to break the back.
Layer upon layer.
a penance undergone for a rich man's wealth,
a poor man's pride.
Gone are the portals of history
that upheld crumbling alters,
mere rubble now of abandoned ages.
A crop of stones.
The first harvest will be corn
and the second barley
the third may be rye
but the fruits of a man's patience will be tried,
for in Mayo
The first three crops are stones.
photo taken in the far west of Ireland.