Now I know what The Ecstatic Dancer is doing in the fields of Eboli, In the plains of what once was Magna Graecia, In the volcanic earth of the outpourings of Vesuvius, Not far from Pompeii, Near the Temples of Paestum, devoted to nature spirits I visited. Where they extracted oils from their herbs, Grew roses as bright as crystals. She’s dancing to the music that helps the crops grow. I thought it was for rain alone before. Beneath the thunder of The Great Battle. And that strange shaped green bronze bell from the most distant past I saw. At the field of horses in Duleek. The sound it makes must have also been important to hear in the landscape of these ancient peoples. Here in the simple floodplain of the river Áine In the Boyne Valley. To think that it’s a music that can make the plants grow strong. What sounds have we not heard that can make them grow long? Our Uilleann pipers should play again in the barley, The things we once knew but have almost forgotten. And our dancers with them Rapping their feet on old wooden barn doors.
All words and images by Sean O’Dwyer