Dave Lordan – The Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains


I believe in them, so they do exist.

In the Wicklow Mountains
It is easier to hide than you think

Behind waterfalls.
In sunless crevices.
In densest rhododendroned foliage.

On slopes of fluttering shadow and scree.

Nothing I know of, apart from these lines,
Speaks of this tribe.

They might be waifs that escaped from
The lead-mines.

They might be vagrants who dropped

out of ballads and poems.

They might be rebels
Who outran the redcoats
Until the redcoats dissolved.

They might be ravers and Wiccans
who squat in high ruins
holding thousand day hooleys,
cavorting in roofless great halls.

They might change into foxes in moonlight
And paw through the motorway snow
To scavenge the exurban dustbins.

But, sincerely, this tribe has no patterns. It fits no descriptions.
Nothing about it ­­– beyond its certain existence – translates:
No reason, no theses, no customs, no goal.

The tribe is my credo. That’s all.

Strong is my faith.
Strong is my beat.
Strong is my magic.
Strong is my want

& wanting, I rise till
I’m vanishing with them,

Spinning in to a mist
Where I’ll never be spotted
Above Mullaghcleevaun.

It’s so righteous to stray.
It’s so good to abandon.
It’s so just to ascend
With the lost and forgotten

To summits the rooted
Cannot even imagine.