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I reclaim this beautiful language, spoken by my ancestors for generations, from the years of abuse and politicisation by small minded and self-seeking people of tribal, inward-looking naval-gazing. Orange and Green.
During the 1980s I went to Cloghan in Donegal and stayed with a family in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking region) and learned a beautiful language I was never taught in school.
Its mine.
I stood on Cloghan bridge many times in February and breathed the turf-laden air.

Droichead An Clochán

Fdf5205c-8b5b-4da8-a6dc-63fe28d680a9by Billy J. Stewart07 Mar 2014

I aer criostail, ag an am tráthnóna i mí Feabhra,
Seasamh mé ar an droichead,
Ag Clochán.
Is é mo anáil bán i gcoinne an sliabh fraoch sepia.
An ghrian gheimhridh mór ardaíonn éigean ar fud na Cruacha Gorma I,
Anois, beagnach imithe ó radharc.
Agus faoi bhun mo chosa sreabhadh an Finn leisciúil
Mall agus domhain,
Gan trácht ar dom lorg.
An boladh na tine móna arduithe, amhail is dá mba i tairiscint mall,
I túir beag bán,
Péinteáilte i gcoinne an tírdhreach
A boladh domhain crochta.
Crith mé i mo chóta, le coiléar suas,
Crisp agus tirim, cosúil le ceantar tundra Artach,
Ach an-fhuar.
Srón cosúil le oighear.
Tá sé beagán de siúlóid ar ais go dtí an teach.
‘Tús níos fearr anois.

CLOGHAN BRIDGE
In crystal air, at evening time in February,
I stand on the bridge,
At Cloghan.
My breath is white against the golden sunset hue of heather moor.
The big winter sun barely scrapes across the Blue Stacks,
Now almost gone.
And beneath my feet the lazy Finn flows on,
Slow and deep,
Oblivious to my gaze.
The reek of turf permeates the air, and rises in slow-motion,
In little give-away streaks,
Smudged against the landscape,
Its earthy smell hanging.
I huddle in my coat, collar up,
Crisp and dry, like tundra,
But bloody cold.
Nose like ice.
It’s a bit of a walk back to the house.
Best get started.