Paul Muldoon (born 20 June 1951) is an Irish poet. He has published over thirty collections and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He held the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1999 to 2004.
At Princeton University he is both the Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. He has also served as president of the Poetry Society (UK) and Poetry Editor at The New Yorker. More ……
Cows by Paul Muldoon
Even as we speak, there’s a smoker’s cough
from behind the whitethorn hedge: we stop dead in our tracks;
a distant tingle of water into a trough.
In the past half-hour—since a cattle truck
all but sent us shuffling off this mortal coil—
we’ve consoled ourselves with the dregs
of a bottle of Redbreast. Had Hawthorne been a Gael,
I insist, the scarlet A on Hester Prynne
would have stood for “Alcohol.”
This must be the same truck whose taillights burn
so dimly, as if caked with dirt,
three or four hundred yards along the boreen
(a diminutive form of the Gaelic bóthar, “a road,”
from bó, “a cow,” and thar
meaning, in this case, something like “athwart,”
“boreen” has entered English “through the air”
despite the protestations of the O.E.D.):
why, though, should one taillight flash and flare
to an afterimage of tourmaline
set in a dark part-jet, part-jasper or -jade?
That smoker’s cough again: it triggers off from drumlin
to drumlin an emphysemantiphon
of cows. They hoist themselves onto their trampoline
and steady themselves and straight away divine
water in some far-flung spot
to which they then gravely incline. This is no Devon
cow-coterie, by the way, whey-faced, with Spode
hooves and horns: nor are they the metaphysicattle of Japan
that have merely to anticipate
scoring a bull’s-eye and, lo, it happens;
these are earth-flesh, earth-blood, salt of the earth,
whose talismans are their own jawbones
buried under threshold and hearth.
For though they trace themselves to the kith and kine
that presided over the birth
of Christ (so carry their calves a full nine
months and boast liquorice
cachous on their tongues), they belong more to the line
that’s tramped these cwms and corries
since Cuchulainn tramped Aoife.
Again the flash. Again the fade. However I might allegorize
some oscaraboscarabinary bevy
of cattle there’s no getting round this cattle truck,
one light on the blink, laden with what? Microwaves? Hi-fis?
Oscaraboscarabinary: a twin, entwined, a tree, a Tuareg;
a double dung-beetle; a plain
and simple hi-firing party; an off-the-back-of-a-lorry drogue?
Enough of Colette and Céline, Céline and Paul Celan:
enough of whether Nabokov
taught at Wellesley or Wesleyan.
Now let us talk of slaughter and the slain,
the helicopter gunship, the mighty Kalashnikov:
let’s rest for a while in a place where a cow has lain.
My Mountain Ash Tree
Season after season.
I’ve gazed upon you
through my window.
I’ve seen the snow hang low
upon your branches.
With white upon red berries.
I’ve watched the snow melt away
to reveal new buds,
ever so slowly,
to leaves so green.
In early Spring.
I’ve watched all the creatures
hop, climb, and fly among
I’ve watched the birds taste
your blood-red berries.
I’ve seen songbirds…
finches, and chickadees.
Come to the feeders.
That hang from you.
I’ve seen the squirrels steal
seeds from the birds.
As their little paws unlatch
a little hook.
I’ve heard the birds sing among your
I remember when the chickadees
built their nest in you,
and then watched their young fledge.
I remember the year the woodpecker
came knocking at your trunk’s door.
As he drilled his beak into you.
And made a hole.
You were never the same anymore…
I watched your life slowly end.
More dead branches to be severed.
As your story slowly drew to a close.
they chopped down what was left of you.
But I will always remember you.
And I thank the Lord for the joy
of beholding your beauty.
Of watching your story.
You have blessed so many creatures.
Beautiful Mountain Ash tree.
Following one of the driest summers in Irish history and with some recent rain fall in the last three weeks, the Irish landscape is slowly returning to it wonderful colour of green ….
What is life
By : William Henry Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Working with Trees and Tree Spirits
Trees are probably the most evolved of all plants. There is a special relationship between trees and humans, as trees produce the oxygen that we need to breathe, while we exhale carbon dioxide which trees thrive on. You could say that our exhalation is their inhalation and vice versa! Trees are multidimensional beings. They have their roots deep down in the earth which signifies their connection to the Underworld. Their trunks and lower branches are in our world, the world of men, which in shamanic terms is called the Middle World. The branches of tall trees reach high in the sky which makes them a bridge into the Upper World. In fact, in many cultures shamans journey into the Upper World by visualizing themselves climbing a tall tree to the very top and then flying up into the sky! Trees also connect us to other realms, such as the Faerie Realm, which is in a parallel dimension to ours.
The cutting down of forests and trees in our reality gradually destroys the Faerie Realm as well. Tree spirits are only loosely connected with their physical bodies, the actual visible tree. Because they are multidimensional and enjoy great freedom on the astral, and because of their connection to other realms, they can help us in journeying and inter-dimensional travel. Besides, meditating with a tree can be very relaxing and helps us to get grounded. Trees are great energy converters as well. They can transmute our negative energies and help us heal. This is shown by the very fact that they thrive on our metabolic waste products (carbon dioxide). For this reason we can draw energy from a tree without depleting it simply by giving it some of our unwanted energy in exchange.
Ireland’s is currently in heat wave conditions with no big change on the horizon, so today I headed out for a walk and started to capture our local landscape in these conditions. Here in County Kilkenny we have not been affected quite as badly yet as in county Dublin but as you can see from these images the hedgerows and fields are starting to turn to a light brown and some of the trees are only just hanging on.