Nothing to live on but the view

A bleak crumbling cabin, clinging to slopes of the deep western fjord

Relic to harsher days, story of famished woes

Potato ridges rotted by passing years, bear witness to overwhelming tears

Heather roots cling to bare stripped hills, in defiance of the tattered, black faced ewes

From a sea mist by the castle, a sturdy pony stands, ears pricked listening for ancestors who didn’t land.

Spanish galleys scattered on the seabed below, tarnished treasures mixed with their scrubbed salty bones.

The Pirate Queen’s Castle still guards where they rest, sharing their home with lobster pots and nets and the tourists that once put them to death.

Maam to Lenaun, a valley to astound, the Glacier forged its colour, beauty and form.

Hillsides changing hues, as clouds drift by, speckles on the trout stream and lakes nearby.  

Surrendered to bog, humans moved down, nothing to live on but the view and stony ground

Letterfrack Village, beneath Diamond Hill, place of great beauty, past to chill. Quaker’s hope and charity, Christian Brother’s cruelty, a playground now, hiker’s activities.  

Kylemore Abbey, jewel in the wild, rises from peatland, parkland, walled garden pride

Passing lake Inagh, vessel of floating Islands, homeward reflection, awe inspiring region, deserving optimistic regeneration.

Poem by Joan Hardiman

Images: Gerti Gjuzi & Kevin Bosc on

If you’d like to read more of Joan’s poetry, her collection can be purchased here:

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Joan Hardiman
Joan Hardiman
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