Friday Sep 22

BheildiuinCeatiNi Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin was born Cathi Weldon, in a village called Rush, near Dublin City. Ceaití adopted the Irish language version of her name when she moved to the Kerry Gaeltacht in 2003, where she still lives.  She works as a writer, artist, film-maker and teacher.  Two volumes of her Irish language poetry have beeeen published to date:  An Teorainn Bheo (The Shifting Boundary) [COISCÉIM, 2007], and Púca Gan Dealramh (Good-for-nothing Pooka) [COISCÉIM, 2010].  She is currently working on a third collection, commissioned by Foras na Gaeilge/COISCÉIM.  LAB an Mhainistreach, Dingle, commissioned and staged Ceaití's first short play, Port na Mammies (Tune of the Mammies), 2009.  Under the Harry Clarke Artist in Residence Scheme (Ealaín na Gaeltachta), Ceaití served as writer in residence at the Díseart, Dingle (2008-2009).  Her poetry has earned her prizes at Strokestown International Poetry Festival (2007) and at the Oireachtas (2007).  A bursary for Irish language literature was awarded to her by the Arts Council of Ireland (2010).  Ceaití uses her poetry in her art installations, including a commissioned installation for IMRAM, Irish Language Literature Festival (2011), in conjunction with City Arts, Dublin.
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Glaoch na Caillí

 
’S í an uain féin í.
’S í an ghaoth í
ag réabadh cheann an tí,
ag gíoscáin ar gheata críonna,
ag glaoch anuas an simné.
’Sí m’eagla i gcolainn dhaonna í
ag bualadh isteach chugam anocht -
gan choinne -
feis na hoíche á lorg aici.
Gléasta mar Karalalam,
cránn sí mé
go dtí go dteitheann sí
ag lóchaint an lae..
 
Scaoil mise amach sa ghaoth ina diaidh.
amach óm chraiceann coincréideach,
óm chloigeann iarainn,
nó go bhfuil fiantas ionam
a shantaíonn an t-imeall,
an t-anfa,
an t-athrú.
Smúsach ag smúrthaíl im chnámha
a athdhúisíonn scéimh na hóige
im bheo,
a chuireann deireadh le
stolpacht an gheimhridh,
a athosclaíonn mo rosc rinnghéar.
 

 
The Hag’s Call


She is the essence of weather itself.
She is the wind
tearing violently at the roof,
squealing on the old gate,
calling down the chimney.
She is my fear taking human form,
calling into me tonight -
unexpected -
seeking lodgings.
Dressed as Karalalam,
she torments me
’til, at first sight of day,
she flees.
 
Let me out to the wind after her.
out of my concrete skin,
out of my iron skull,
because there’s a fierceness in me
that desires the edge,
the tempest,
the change.
Marrow stirs in my bones
reviving the awe of youth
in my flesh,
ending
the inertia of winter,
reopening my sword-sharp eye.
 
 
 
Cosán
An mó cos a leagtar sara nochtar dúinn cosán?


Taibhsítear domsa bhur gcosa
ag rith, ag rince, ag rás romham,
gach bonn coise ag pógadh na talún.
Santaíonn mo chnámha bhur macnas.
Mothaím mian diamhair mo chine
ag cothú rithim na hársaíochta ionam.
 
Cos, cos nocht, cos cham,
cos luath, cos bhacach, cos sheang,
cos dhíreach, cos sí, cos chlé,
cos ghorm, cos bé, cos éadrom,
cos nite, cos rince, cos lag,
cos rí, cos thall is abhus,
cos thirim, cos thuirseach, cos throm,
cos ataithe, cos chlogtha, cos dhocht
 
Pasálaim gach rian coise romham
ag déanamh athnuachana
ar an gconair thraidisiúnta,
meabhair na gcos dúisithe ionam,
meadaracht na gcos aimsithe,
am nascadh le ré ársa,
le coimhgne ár sinsear.
Chroch na filidh a gcaipíní feasa san aer
dos na glúnta ina ndiaidh.
Tarraigím anuas ceann ón gceo,
cumhacht na gcoimhdirí timpeall orm.
 
Umhal, ábalta, múnlaithe ag mo dhúchas
chun dul de shiúl na gcos,
céimním ar an séad oilithreachta
ag déanamh aithrise
ar bhur seanamheadarachtaí,
sara gcasaim ina ndervish iad
istigh im chloigeann,
i gciorcal, i gCathair Deargáin.
 
I ngiotaí gearra tochtmhara,
i línte scuabacha mealltacha,
i dteanga thaibhsiúil na caillí sa Chom,
labhrann an talamh liom.
Labhrann an cosán lem chois,
labhrann an chloch lem láimh,
lem chnámha, lem chuimhní, lem chroí.
 
Ón gcré atá beo le seanchas
súim stair agus scéalta,
fios agus draíocht.
Séideann dord na bhFiann
i  bPáirc na Groí,
ag cur drithlíní trím chroí
agus ag cur mo chéadfaí ag rince.
 
Tugaim aghaidh ar an gcnoc,
áit neasneamhga, párthas aoibhinn
i scamaill a imchlúdaíonn an bhinn,
áit a ghnáthaíonn An Daghda, Dia na Spéire,
áit a luíonn scáil agus corcán Chrom Dubh,
áit ina maireann anam naofa
an Loingseora, Bréanann,
Leanaim cosán na gcéadta cos
is leánn gach teora talún romham.
 
 
 
Path
How many feet must tread to bare for us a path?


Your ghostly footsteps
race ahead of me
in an intimate dance
of sole and soil.
I feel the ancient rhythm
of my race urging me on.
 
Bare, mishapen feet,
swift, lame, slim feet,
straight, left, fairy feet,
black feet, female feet,
light, clean, dancing feet.
weak feet, king’s feet,
dry, heavy,  tired feet,
swollen, tightly  bound feet.
 
I pass every trace of them,
restoring myself
on this customary way.
My feet remember,
recover  their music.
Time and antiquity merge
in our tribal unconscious.
I reach for the cap of wisdom
tossed aloft by the poets
for those who followed,
conjure their protection
out of the mist.
 
Lured by your old music,
I step out humbly, ably,
on my predestined pilgrimage,
Like a whirling dervish,
it inhabits my brain.
My head spins
round and round
in Cathair Deargáin.
 
The ground addresses me
in short intense phrases,
in sweeping, seductive lines
ghost-whispered by hags of the Com.
The path speaks to my feet,
the stone speaks to my hands,
to my heart,  my memories, my bones.
 
From the folklore-rich clay
I devour history, stories,
myth and magic.
When the Fenian horn sounds
in Páirc na Groí,
my heart contracts,
my senses dance.
 
I set out for the mountain.
Its Paradise up there.  Heaven lies
just beyond the clouds that rim its peak.
The  Sky-God, Daghda belongs there;
Crom Dubh’s head rests there;
there too, the holy soul
of boatman Brendan lives on.
I follow the path worn by so many feet
and every horizon melts before me.
 


An Dán Deireanach


Dá gcuirfimis cluas
le héisteacht orainn féinig,
chloisfimis an dán deireanach
ina amhrán
 
ag canadh anam an domhain
chun beochana aríst.
D’aimseoimis an port
is a mhacalla
 
i ndordán na mbeach,
i siosarnach na nduilleog,
i mbéalscaoilteacht na n-abhann.
Thiocfadh glaoch an choiligh
 
ár ndúiseacht
chun siúl cosnochta
lá samhraidh -
tarrac na gcloch taibhsiúil
 
thíos fúinn,
ar nós cosán ársa
na mBundúchasach
san Astráil.
 
I ngach cloch
bíonn cuimhne, bíodh sé
ina nath nó ina rann.
Cuir cloch ar dhá chloch
 
dhá chloch ar chloch
agus beidh falla
ina dhán fé stiúir ár lámh.
Ligfimid don bhfalla
 
cuaradh is casadh
mar shruth ar an gcnoc,
nó ní haon dán díreach é
an dán deireanach.
 
 
 
The Final Poem

 
If only we could listen
we’d hear it—
the final poem as a song,
singing the soul of the earth back to life.
 
We’d recognise the tune and its echo
in the humming of the bees,
in the whisper of the leaves,
in the loose talk of the rivers.
 
And the cock crow
would waken us,
calling us to walk barefoot
on a summer’s day,
 
the pull of dreamstones beneath us
like those of an ancient Aboriginal songline.
In every stone a memory lingers
whether as proverb or as verse.
 
Put one stone on two stones
and two stones on one
and we’ll find a wall like a poem
being shaped by our hands.
 
We’ll allow the wall to curve and twist
like a stream on the mountain,
because the final poem
will channel its own course.