I’ll be staying at Irish castles
in the fall, sleeping on fine linen,
sipping oolong with wee sandwiches
in triangles of cucumber and cress.
I shall tramp the giant’s causeways
on the stormy northern coast,
hiking trails that once were coach roads,
chat with highwaymen in local pubs
who probably are ghosts.
At dinner, there’ll be game,
I think, of venison or quail
with tatties in their jackets
golden yellow from the butter,
beans as crisp and green as hope,
a dreamy trifle rounded off
with port or brandy, maybe both.
Midst all this happy tippling,
I’ll enjoy the lively tales retold
of salmon nearly caught
in Scotland and the B.C. coast—
we are a worldly lot—the fishes’
silver bellies brightly glinting,
and of rivers once pristine declined,
they’re shimmering again.
For every fall there is a rise,
you see, far greater than
the pinnacles of old; as each
of us reclaims nobility of mind,
a wholesome, holy state, the body
and its politic cannot lag far behind.
And so these are my travel plans
with friends I’ve yet to meet
and shall, whose company enriches
midst the tapestries and roaring
fires of Irish castles in the fall.
© Elaine Stirling, 2015
Image is of Waterford Castle Hotel, Waterford, Ireland