“Directions to Tir na Nóg” by Bayveen O’Connell

Plant your sword in the sand and stride
towards the siren

Let your lips honey her ears
for all that mead has made your tongue sweet

Disappear into a watery dervish with the maiden
on her shock white mare

Stretch out on her bed of eternity
and roll together through countless moons

And never go back
Never go back


BIO: Bayveen O’Connell lives in Dublin and is inspired by travel, myth, history and dark ideas. Her poetry, flash and short stories and CNF have appeared in Flash Flood Journal, Ellipsis Zine, Ravens in the Attic, Former Cactus, Selene Quarterly, Scum lit Mag, Underground Writers, The Cabinet of Heed, Molotov Cocktail, Tales from the Forest, Nightingale & Sparrow, Pink Plastic House, Drabblez Mag and others.

Of this poem, Bayveen says, “In Irish mythology, Tir na Nog is the land of eternal youth. The hero, Oisin, gives up everything that he has known to go with his lover, Niamh, through the waves to her home in Tir na Nog. Although he is happy with his new life, Oisin yearns to see his family, friends and homeland of Ireland again. Niamh gives him the means to return on her white horse, knowing the dangers. Home again, Oisin discovers that everyone he loves has passed away while he has remained the same age and his trip ends in tragedy as he starts to grow older and die, having set foot on Irish soil. In my poem “Directions to Tir na Nog”, I subvert the story of the tragic lovers by urging Oisin to be firm in his decision, not to let himself be torn between two worlds and lured by the notion that far away fields are always greener. A happy ending is possible for Oisin and Niamh if he fully commits to this love, accepting all the sacrifices it involves.”

Truancy 9, July 2021