RETREAT

I

Benburb, a calm village in Tyrone,

Not far from my childhood home,

Frequented by Prince Shane O’ Neill

Where he built his military needs

Upon the ruins of which Lord Wingfield

Built his ‘Bawne of Lyme and Stone’*

 

II

 

Partaking in the festival of ‘Benburb Sunday’

Held annually on the Priory grounds

I was unaware of the Wingfield legacy

Or that one day I would reside in Wicklow

So close to another of their great demesnes

That would surpass the beauty of Benburb

 

III

 

Exploring the site of the Wingfield castle

I morphed my spirit with the gods and gifts

Of shimmering trees and bright faced flowers

To ease my troubled teenage angst

 

IV

Mature now and settled in the ‘garden county’

I delight in the fortuity that locates me near

To this wondrous wooded estate where,

Bereft of my young giggling friends,

I contemplate alone the Wingfields’ Powerscourt

And the poetry it inspired in its Viscountess

 

V

Their family passage from Tyrone

From Benburb overlooking the Blackwater

Where anglers fish for the Black Boddagh

To Powerscourt as the trout descend

The waterfall roaring through the Dargle

The Glencree tributary tucking in behind.

 

VI

Fitting that the Glencree Centre

Would find its purpose near this sanctuary

To promote peace and reconciliation,

Echoing Benburb’s retreat centre of reflection

 

VII

But it’s to Powerscourt I now retreat,

For inspiration and succour

And like that Viscountess Sheila Wingfield

My thoughts evolve into poems and odes

As I become absorbed in the tranquillity

Of its natural habitat and glory

By: Catherine, Age 63, South Dublin

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