(“VAN GOGH IN THE GLENS” Sam Burnside. Written after Jack McCann led the John Hewitt Summer School from Garron Tower to Lubativish on 1st August 1989).

 

 

                            VAN GOGH IN THE GLENS 

 

“What if Van Gogh, already half deaf and pelt bare;

One simmering summer had taken by storm the nine glens;

Had stirred the plouting mists lying across Lubitavish and Trostan;

Had embraced among fire and flame the crimson thistle;

That beards the steep-jawed axe quarries of Cushendun;

Had looked into the black, pile-driving wind at buckled oaks;

Had fashioned in hot ice the spray forenenst Glenarm.

What if he had lead the headless Shane up Tievebulliagh;

Had guided O’Neill fingers across each stone cairn;

Had said, listen to the shape of it, had painted

A wind rainbowed with Ossian’s roar and Hewitt’s whisper.

Had he been quickened to rage at the way things are with us:

He might yet help unbend us with a bit of that passion !”

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