The Riddle of Your Rocks

Rugged up against the rawness of the wind
on rocky screes above the tree-line where
Slieve Donard reaches down to rampant waves,
I can relax. I know that I am home

wrapped up within the riddle of your rocks,
my ears attuned to rhythms of the Earth
I stroll again the strands of northern shores,
that seamless join of dunes and sand and sea.

With long deep breaths inhale the spray of surf,
speak softly, though not likely to be heard
except perhaps by seagulls soaring free.
You seduce me with shimmer from your sands,

coil me in the caresses of your curves,
cocoon me in cathedrals of your caves.


23 Responses to “The Riddle of Your Rocks”

  1. belfastdavid Says:

    This poem owes a debt of gratitude to Tikarma Vodicka and her poem – Being Swept Away by the C

    Her poem included one line which so enchanted me that I stole it (with her permission 🙂 ) and then used it to build this poem. In the end I tweaked it slightly because that was the way my poem turned out. But without Tikarma’s poem and her line this poem would never have been written.

    So Thank you Tikarma

  2. christine Says:

    That is a lovely comment of acknowledgement you have written above David.

    This poem is brilliant ( I make no excuse for the use of the word!)
    The tweaking you have done here and there has turned a very good poem into an excellent one. This has to be one of the best poems you have written. I feel very proud of you (x)

    You have used the alliteration so cleverly and it gives the whole poem palpability.

    I have always loved the use of alliteration ever since I was first introduced to it in the first year of secondary school, The piece I always remember is a line from A Midsummerr’s Night Dream, “He boldly broached his boiling bloody breast.” I can’t remember who was doing the broaching but I may well go and look it up. Amazing what ripple effects there can be from reading a poem!

    Very well done!

    Lots of love



    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Christine,

      Some poems just emerge. Others, like this one, deserve working on in order to improve them. The trick, of course, is to know when to stop!! 🙂

      I await with interest the result of your research into “broaching” 🙂

      Lots of love


  3. coil me in the caresses of your curves,
    cocoon me in cathedrals of your caves.

  4. I love this I feel those lines so much a wonderful piece David…

  5. Wonderful!!!! I am present with you in the reading – the sense of awe and of peace in the midst of such majesty is very real. I want to walk here.

  6. Elaine Randall English Says:

    VERY COOL…I’m loving this… much…so much…..feeling it….David….this is something special.

  7. In this instance “broach” means to pierce, thus allowing to shed (ie blood).

    The full quote is apparently, and I remember it now, Whereat with blade with bloody blameful blade he bravely broached his boiling bloody breast”.

    All good stuff!


  8. David,

    Wonerful! I love this. Sometimes when you post, it reads like you are trying to write for someone else, abiding by their rules of what should go and what should stay. This poem…this poem is David the poet, writing in his natural voice. That’s why it works so beautifully.

    This is Irish poetry :). The words make love to each other on the page.

    The title threw me a little at first, and I thought it was about Giant’s Causeway. As some things never change, *grin* I had a run at Google (Slieve Donard), and I thought “Of course, he’s home”. *smile* Your are ‘home’ as a writer in this one too. This is certainly one of my favorites.

    Much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:

      *Big, big Smile*

      The working title for this poem Shirley was “Going Home”. I changed it when the poem was done as I felt using it as a title would imply a different sort of poem. Clearly from your comment the sense of “going home” is in the poem so I did not need it as a title. 🙂

      I would have known, of course, that you would Google “Slieve Donard” 🙂
      It is in the Mountains of Mourne – as referred to by Johnny Cash in “Forty Shades of Green” 🙂

      What a lovely phrase – “The words make love to each other on the page” I am blushing with pleasure – Thank you

      Much Love

  9. And it is Pyramus broaching Lion’s breast I tnink – just an extra snippet for you. You never know when these things may come in useful!


    • belfastdavid Says:

      The last time I saw A Midsummer’s Night Dream was in the open air at Kirkstall Abbey – a wonderful experience.

      Sadly the Company which put on Shakespeare there does not seem to be doing it any more. I used to go every year and look forward to it from one year to the next.


  10. Beautiful 🙂 Hope you will keep on writing lots and lots of them 🙂

  11. Hi David,

    *blushing wildly* You are most welcome!

    And thankyou! For writing and sharing such a brilliant piece of poetry.
    I have been enjoying this in my inbox, letting the words flow and roll as I read. In an sense the rhythm of this peom is much like the ocean as it rolls in out from the shore. 🙂

    This poem has catapulted itself into my all time favourites of your work.

    This poem for me, is you, your heart, your love of the land and the magic the resides within it. The relationship, love affair if you will, that exisits in those special places that move us with the art of their landscapes and sing to us through the sounds of the wind and birds that grace them with their presence.

    Your muse is definitely singing in this poem, and it is a beautful song!
    I feel such a sense of peace wash over me and your last two lines are just beautiful. I feel as if I can step out into your world.

    I am humbled that my poem was able to be an inital spark for you and that, that spark gave light to such a beautful flame of expression in this poem.
    Transforming pain to beauty is my ultimate aim. I think you found the beauty in my poem and took it to a place I could never imagine but for which I am filled with graititude that you have shared. 🙂


    I hope your week has been going well for you? 🙂
    As always take good care!

    • belfastdavid Says:


      I had such a lot of pleasure working on this poem. I allowed it to evolve over a period of days – kept going back to it to get it to say exactly what I wanted it to say and yet keep true to the essence which was in your own poem Some poems are worth that extra effort and this was one of them. In a strange way I was almost sorry when it was complete because I was so much enjoying the process. 🙂

      You are right of course – it is a love poem – my love being for the place and the landscape and for the feelings which it inspires in me. I guess that is why it finished up in the form of a sonnet – my muse tells me that a sonnet is the ultimate form for a love poem. And who am I to argue with her. 🙂

      As regards favourite poems, I think this poem is now one of my own favourites of my own poems.

      The other thing this poem achieved was to wake my muse up from her winter hibernation – she is now in full flow – more poems to follow in due course 🙂

      I have just been looking out my window at a bunch of ping pong balls on sticks (long tailed tits) cavorting in the tree outside – there is little better ways to start my day 🙂

      You take care and have a good weekend


  12. gonecycling Says:

    Takes me straight back to the wild north coast of Brittany. A wonderful poem.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      I have never been to the “wild north coast of Brittany, but if this poem took you there then I am delighted.

      Good to meet you Nick

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