By the Cliffs of Moher

In fierce clutch of last dreaming,
ancient troops rise in blood darkness.
Breach the door, roust the sleeper
to forced march on the narrow path
twisting between rock face
and the howls of the storm-tossed sea.
Unable to see even his boot tops,
cudgel blows push him forward.
Roots snatch at his feet. Rocks
unhitch themselves where he steps.
Calamity ever near. Once again,
tired of the fight, comes
the call of the unfathomable.
To be cradled, eased of all earth-ache
and soul-wear, a rebirth of his choosing.
A purposed misstep, a drop
into the roil beneath the stark cliffs.
A moment more. A step more.
But coals shift in the fire. Sparks rise.
Old evils loosen their grip.
Night spirits and cold sea mists fade.
The harsh sameness of day awaits.

About the Author

Kevin Norwood was the winner of The Porch Poetry Prize 2020. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of journals, including Edison Review, Evening Street Review, Iowa Review, Litbreak, The Magnolia Review, Nashville Review, Natural Bridge, Tulane Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Visitant. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from the University of Virginia, where he studied creative writing with Peter Taylor and John Casey. He is an attorney with a law degree from William & Mary, and lives in Brentwood, Tennessee with wife Vicki and rescue pup Lily.