Jamie Stedmond

Jamie Stedmond is a young Irish writer, currently based in Dublin. Jamie is pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at University College Dublin. Previously published in CagibiThe Bohemyth, and Paragraph Planet.

 

Heritage, as Cloudbanks Printing Shadows

I

It looms large over everything where I live,

in the house which it has founded, for these years now.

The structure creaks and moans in human voices,

settling, sinking, deep and deeper yet into the earth, we –

birthed of soil, of dirt, inhabitants with skin of land
faces worn and cracked the same, hands rough

as coasts and crags, as stubby fields with carragreen –

Our words are lively dancing; all of stories –

and during the high clash of music, pounding feet,

of old wood, pungent slosh, or bitter tea, there is

a brief breath of silence, huffed red with bloody wine,

that speaks like broken bones before the crowd.

 

II

It looms large over everything where I live,

in the valley, shadowed by it, like a mountain.

It grows like ivy on the township, clinging,

poisonous, soon for all to crack, and crumble –

yoked and pulling, we plough up the cobbled streets

and all the bright devices – all distractions, all

soaring new enhancements can not begin

to scrub what’s planted. No wind can quake this topsoil.

It’s often out walking – under unquiet gloomy skies,

in this high square mountain’s shadow, by black

rivers licking pale reeds – that you’ll see stones

piled high and worn, and hear the people praying.

 

III

It looms large over everything where I live,

on the island, windswept, yet cloying sweat,
whose story is our inheritance, but not ours.

Leather licking. Dark corners fill with flesh.

It is not ours, but the echo deafens and pales.

Deaf stones stay, see a silent movie showing –

knocking rhythms. Wails. Washing waves, children.

To kneel is to sting with salt, to absolve them.

To pretend, plámás, to diverge softly – silent schisms

crown quietness, and answer still to cathechisms.

No more quiet, only singing songs of Sunday saying this:

a message to my far-flung children: never worship.

 

 

© 2018 Jamie Stedmond