Paths to the Wurmlinger Chapel

John Kinsella
The cut logs piled and numbered – wood raddled –
alongside the paths, twist the blade into the spirit
of forest, however foresters are trying to reinvent 
the primeval. A woodpecker cranks up intensity
and shelf fungus on a stump declaims to the under-
storey; moss treats the wounds of older stumps
but fresh bloody stumps smell sickly sweet, conifer
and deciduous ichor blending at a time when budding
still works, comes basically on song. Where smooth snakes
awoken will crackle through winter-dried leaves, vapid 
in the awakening. Ravenousness will come to the Spitzberg 
soon, and wild boar will charge from the hollows.
So down to the fruit trees and grapevines on terraces
to climb again against the flow of mountain bikes
exaggerating every step and erosion, to bring 
it to the extreme sport variation on stations,
the seventeenth-century chapel crowning off,
canopy, its medieval crypt into the breast
of the mount, four-hundred-and-seventy-five metres’
elevation of panorama: of villages and motorways, of haze
and a coal tit outrageously loud. Where the dead
rest on high and Uhland’s poem of a young shepherd below,
the dead going to ground up in the blue gleam,
and where he will go too when life finishes its dirge.
Page 68, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119
Issue 119

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119 includes new poems by 48 poets including Frank Ormsby, John Kinsella, Rachel Coventry, Aifric Mac Aodha, Gerald Dawe, Alice Miller and Claire Potter. Also included are translations by Richard Begbie and Kirsten Lodge, an essay on Bishop, Lowell, Heaney and Grennan by David McLoghlin, and reviews of Paul Muldoon, Paul Durcan, Sarah Clancy, Medbh McGuckian, Kate Tempest, George the Poet, and many more. The issue also features photography by Hugh O'Conor, Dominic Turner, Sheila McSweeney, Fergus Bourke and John Minihan.