^folk, (o)=e

excerpt from my journal:

“I think there’s really something magical about folk music. I’m sitting in Connemara in a pub and there’s these 3 guys just chillin’ with a few traditional instruments (staples. guitar, accordion, folk guitar, mandolin i think…?). Every time I listen to this stuff I get swept away to another world and time, where people performed to share and to keep things alive — when stories were told instead of written… when stories were sung and danced instead of told. Why does this idea hold so much power for me?
Perhaps because I am a writer. I write stories down. I want folklore to be squeezed into 2D, but no one can quite seem to manage it — there’s an element of human flesh and blood and experience in it deeper than anything that can be nailed down on a page in black and unmoving white. The whole give-response mechanism is truly different. Utterly different. It cannot be flattened — it IS music. It flies through the air and buries itself in people’s hearts, and people’s hearts give back… The nature of this creating is continual and communal. An holistic expression of Heidegger’s ‘Being’… ha! I love it.

c. Mary Kathryn Gough, spring 2006, clifden, connemara


Fragile Feet Hold On

the day is finally
enough for me to sit.

small birds cheep, tweet, warble,
sing small songs & weave small loves
of small things long gone), and in-
between run darker, thicker threads
on sounding-looms almost too low
to hear, large as the shadows of
moving maple leaves in the
milky eyes of memory herself; drops
in a lake of living loves.(

other animals eat, storing fat against
the numbing cold, growing
with added physical weight.

But these delicate birds divide their
joys and memories, multiplying
bits of found truth from seasons of
warmth: food
for the stark, wintry months.

in Solitary togetherness, these
small voices echo
back and
forth, back
and forth, patiently gathering
inner reservoirs of weightless melody
in preparation for the coming cold
and its fettered, flightless days.

Collective, they will face the gray-white-frost, just
so many tiny, puff-ed hearts filled(collective)with
small songs.
I sit silent:
the juniper branches
outside my window, growing hillside
in a leaning, lively fury of crisp and detailed
sweep out and up,
gently, tentatively ~ from trunk to tips, waving
like greenly needled ocean swells,
exactly articulated in the breeze.

and now through the leaves above
the spangled sun will set, round and bleeding red: color
will enter my world, a watercolor as yet
never seen.

fresh canvas, already alive
with Sound (another small song).

fragile feet hold on, waiting.

c. Mary Kathryn Gough, 2006

this is a bit of a draft. it’s probably my third draft, though i don’t have proper notes of my edits. i’m still feeling it’s too long and laboured… too many ideas in it perhaps. not sure. i’d appreciate feedback from anyone so inclined – never say no to a little advice, critique, or just reactions.

~ Kate


.rest ~

why is it that by night the world draws on

garments of familiarity (comforting as

an old and beloved blanket: a gentle guise

devised of moonlit floors, leaves over-

shadowing walls with quiet motions and

nurturing instinct, nursing over-

stimulated eyes with a simple cadence,

simple cadence,



the secret of the garb of night is in the breeze

and in the .rests~

between the rhythm-of-raindrops(both.singularly.


through-space-and-time), the secret

of the garb of night (slow and soothing as stream-

trickle) is simply complex enough to join

hand-in-hand with the paradoxes of love and

union. night’s brush is soft, forgiving, and slow.





year upon year

upon year upon


ever so


in fasting with


without rest, all

music becomes bloated


c. Mary Kathryn Gough

2008.07.08 2.44 am

draft 1