Noreen Carden

(16/12/50 / Mayo)

Mist and legend


While walking down a country lane,
i felt my soul pulled back in time.
Surrounded by the ancient ones,
whose lives long spent had entered mine.
Then dressed in garb of ancient days,
i walked the road along tilled field.
Sharing heat from open fires their stories
told heroic deeds.

In whispered tones with furtive looks,
they spoke of fearsome fairy folk.
Who tempted men with talk of gold.
While leading them from human sight.
One spoke of babies disappeared,
from cots unguarded by a tongs,
whose mothers hearts when rent in two
With guilt fueled grief their lives did end

They talked of hunger foe of all.
Whose dread spiked finger blacked the spud
Its touch turned stalks to putrid mess.
Causing death to visit multitudes.
Then ancient mist cleared from my mind.
My soul returned to rightful place.
No more to walk through mists of time.
a fleeting glance was mine to take

Submitted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote this after watching a documentary about legends and myths of ancient Ireland. So to explain the line from cots unguarded by a tongs
people believed if you placed a fire tongs across a baby cot the fairies could not steal the child away

Comments about this poem (Mist and legend by Noreen Carden )

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  • Veteran Poet - 3,100 Points Daniel Brick (4/6/2014 8:56:00 PM)

    When I was an English major in college, I studied the Irish Renaissance writers - the Celtic Twilight. And I still remember fondly reading those poems of such lush language by the young Yeats, AE, Stephens, Joyce. I have been re-reading Joyce's poems in CHAMBER MUSIC just for the musical qualities. Your poem conveyed the physical environment that inspired those writers. Although I haven't been to Ireland, I have a kind of Ireland in my mind - as do many Irish Americans. But it's not the Celtic Twilight I read. It's the later Yeats of the Byzantium poems, the Crazy Jane poems, the amazing plays like Purgatory. And Seamus Heany is one of my favorites. I thoroughly-enjoyed taking the walk with you by means of this poem. The title alone captures a quality of place which is magical, and pace late Yeats, we still need that magic of time and place. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 3 Points John Brown (11/11/2013 7:38:00 AM)

    A great little story Noreen. I love the line 'Who's dread spiked finger blacked the spud' Great imagery. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 6,587 Points Valsa George (11/10/2013 12:58:00 AM)

    Archetypal images, myths and ghost stories influence every culture that they keep haunting human mind, making it difficult to distinguish between iiusion and reality! Enjoyed your ride through the country alley with your soul possessed by the spirits! ! (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,786 Points Khairul Ahsan (10/29/2013 6:48:00 PM)

    'Then ancient mist cleared from my mind.
    My soul returned to rightful place.
    No more to walk through mists of time.
    a fleeting glance was mine to take'
    A nice, poetic end to a captivating narration, with an appropriate title and note. Well done! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 411 Points Smoky Hoss (10/16/2013 3:15:00 PM)

    Myth, magic, mystery, the ways of glancing at lifes hard to explain side... yet, no less real. Superb writing. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,789 Points Bri Edwards (10/3/2013 9:40:00 PM)

    gee, i JUST read the poet note. i was going to ask about the tongs reference! thanks for the explanation. thank goodness we now have wireless fairy-alert systems in upscale american nurseries. but tongs might be cheaper, and my daughter is expecting......................
    very nicely done. i DID especially enjoy:

    One spoke of babies disappeared,
    from cots unguarded by a tongs,
    whose mothers hearts when rent in two
    With guilt fueled grief their lives did end

    i'm glad you made it out of the mist, but it sounds like another thing the irish could pitch as a tourist atttraction.
    thanks for sharing. ;) bri (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,232 Points Patricia Grantham (9/29/2013 10:27:00 PM)

    Thinking about memories in the past. Seems so real
    but only a dream. Jolted back to the present. Good. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 717 Points Thomas A Robinson (9/18/2013 1:55:00 PM)

    The patato famine sent many of Irelands best to America to add to it's melting pot vastly improving the stock and lore of the US. We are forever greatly blessed by this tragic event. And Ireland's cultural history is as deep as history itself. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,990 Points Geetha Jayakumar (9/18/2013 6:45:00 AM)

    Beautiful write..fire tongs across a baby cot, protecting a child.Yes, hunger foe of all. Beautiful writes..Enjoyed reading it. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 615 Points Dave Walker (9/17/2013 4:50:00 PM)

    A really fantastic poem, really enjoyed it. It reminds me of time slips, where you can be walking down
    a road then without warning your back in the past on the same road. A fantastic write. (Report) Reply

Read all 14 comments »

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