Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Visiting ancient places

Easter Monday was a day of sunshine and discovery as we walked over fields of lush green grass. We had with us a small book written several years ago by a local historian in which several artifacts were mentioned as being possibility's of what we might find.

The first to be seen was a Norman motte and unfortunately
the bailey was bulldozed several years ago.
Around the right hand corner of the field a ruin showed
through the trees.

The ancient abbey & monastery of Drumcullen
founded in A.D. 591 by Saint Barrinn, also known as
St.Barron. He was by all accounts an extraordinary character
being a traveler and a navigator & is believed to have discovered
America, long before the noted St.Brendan the Navigator who
visited America many centuries before Columbus.

At the western end of the building is a corballed ceiling,
uniquely (I think) made of very small stones. This chamber
is believed to have been the priests quarters; I think he must
have been a hardy fellow for there was no sign of smoke hole!

On the floor of the corballed chamber lies a fragment
of what was once a celtic cross.

A close up of the Norman motte showing signs
of erosion and further around the erosion is
even worse; how much longer before it to disappears
is hard to tell.

The vista from the side of the motte shows
Knocknaman in the distance. The translation of
which is 'The Hill of the Women' referring perhaps
to the two women druids who fostered the
hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.

There are so many artifacts to be seen and ancient places to visit in this relatively undiscovered part of the Irish midlands and I hope to share more with you in the future.

Saturday, 16 April 2011


Is this the world that we desire

Of hunger, war and fire,

Of toil, spoil and waste.

A system created to create

A world of greed, speed and hate.

Can we stop, arrest the cause

Without causing pain or arising havocs.

To deftly change here to there.

Redirect resources - from

Full bellied western folk - to

Hollowed eyed hungry children

And create a proper balance ?

I wrote the above forty years ago circa 1970. Today I was awoken in the early hours of the morning by my own words, " of hunger, war and fire", reverberating through my sleeping mind until I awoke and rifled through my notebooks to dig them out.

Unfortunately the words I wrote all those years ago are still true today. In yesteryear I was short sighted & only aimed my poem towards the plight of the children in Africa and India.

Now in 2011, I realize they can just as easily apply to children and their parents who live in countries, judged by international financiers as being amongst the wealthy, developed nations of the world.

Tell me, how can we make a difference ?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

In a Monastery Garden

Amongst my wide variety of friends there are those who have religious vocations ; They being members of the third order of Franciscans, whose local monastery was established in 1820 with the dictate to educate and feed the people. So on a recent visit, I was inspired to take photos of some of the unique features in their garden.

As many of you may know I am a druid and a pagan, this neither stops me nor them from enjoying each others' company and from having some interesting discussions on subjects which are not always common to our individual followings. That being the case we stretch our minds to seek a common understanding.

One commonality between us is our love of nature, plants, trees, animals, ancient sites and the night sky to name but a few.

The pictures which follow speak for themselves.

A stone circle with a difference

The centre stone of the circle has a hole in it, which means that it
might be described as a contract or marriage stone.
For in ancient times: each lover would put a hand through the
hole to make their marriage vows.

What strange creatures can you see
in this ancient tree?

Not a Sun Dial but a Moon Dial.

The face of the Moon dial, a device that was created
by one of the monks many years ago.

This large iron pot is believed to have been a cauldron
in which gruel or stew was cooked during the famine times.

A modern waterfall feature using
recycled wine bottles !