Holy Mountain

John Holloway

In the abyss of distance. You see it
  blink at you, graven over
our breakfast table, from the open
  door where steam from porridge mists
the peak of the holy mountain, or so

they term it, and I would not lightly
  be heavy-handed over the old
volcanic cone across that yawn
  of bog-blossom, of bee-, of heat-filled
emptiness, with sparse birds, and light

hazed into dust. Once, Queen Grace
  O’Malley, of Clare Island, ‘mighty
by land and sea’ (you read it in the tiny
  ruined church, country Latin and
especially, lettering), gazed at the same

giant summer expanses, giant
  and luminous over the tidal flow, she too
thought the Saint’s mountain holy, but
  now is dust, as which of us
will not be, you see it blink at you.