Turf Fire Memories

It was like a pyramid

Or a Ziggurat

A stack of turf outside my uncle Hugh’s

Sods of turf built high

Cut and dried in Mayo air

Brought home by ass and cart

Along that thoroughfare

The boreen down to Hugh’s

I knew so well


And always the smell of turf

When I landed in the west

Nostrils notified you’re here at last

The perfume of perfection

All of Irish life

Caught up contained

Within that whiff’s delight


And Aunty Annie’s salty butter

Soda bread from the pan

That sat in state above the turf fire’s glow

And eggs so deeply yellow

And salty bacon too

And tea in china cups

Of white and blue


And later on the bacon and the cabbage

Floury potatoes falling from their skins

And children round the table

A wealth of cousins there

And sods of turf were burning

In that Mayo air


Brian Fahy

8 January 2022

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