Kimberly Campanello

Excursion

Kimberly Campanello

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EXCURSION
   

Owing to inclement weather on the morning of the second day, it was decided to postpone the hour of starting announced on the programme. The interval, however, allowed the party to visit the park, and those who braved the elements were well rewarded. A short interval of fair weather favoured a start at ten o’clock on the s.s. Widgeon for the lower lough. The scenery on each side of the river was much admired. The round tower at Devenish soon came into view, and a stop was made on the island. The principle objects were seen and photographed—the Ancient Celtic church, the round tower, S. Mary’s Abbey, and the high cross. Mr. Edward Archdale met the party on the pier at Castle Archdale. The party were hospitably entertained to lunch by Mr. Archdale, and afterwards boats were placed at the disposal of the party to visit White Island and Davy’s Island, or for dredging. One section, however, preferred to roam about the well-kept grounds and gardens. The botanists found much to note, among which the following may be mentioned:—Epipactis latifolia, Listera ovate, Neottia Nidus-avis. Among the Lepidoptera the following were noted: —Plusia bractea and Acentropus niveus. The rare Amber shell Succinea oblonga was collected on Davy’s island, one of the three lately discovered stations for it in the district. The eighth-century church on White Island was visited, and the sheela-na-gig carvings photographed. The return sail to Enniskillen was made under a heavy downpour of rain. The programme provided no official excursion for the third day. A few members went out to Monea, where dwellings representative of three periods of history were found in proximity. The mansion of Monea, situated on an eminence and enclosed by a well-wooded park, represents the modern period. The castle of Monea represents the life of medieval times. Close to the castle is the crannoge, representing the life of pre-historic times. A clump of tress surrounded by rushes in the centre of a quiet lake is all that is visible.

We left early. We have a film of this. We’re cutting through the Phoenix Park. The mist hangs heavy and the deer are still huddled together. The flags at the gates of the two important houses are barely visible, just three colors on each, blurred. I applaud us into the lens for leaving so early. We were always leaving late and we’d be cursing if we hadn’t seen at least two sheelas by the end of the day. If we could even find one. Most were shown to us. Always by proud old women. Proud old women in cardigans building shrines in the front garden and waiting for sons to slice it out of the old wall at last. Always children leading the way on motorbikes to unmapped townlands. Always children rubbing grass in the outline to bring its parts out. Always confident male farmers, all of everything under control, even ‘Oh, that thing.’ Always ancient male farmers with cleft palates and soft voices and pride in what was dug up from their fields. Always mad women eyeing you up leading us through trap doors in crumbling castles and asking at the end for a donation. Always mad women at desks demanding ID when we said we wished to study it. Always women mad with delight, saying ‘I had never known of it until ten minutes ago at the table when I heard of it first. So I can tell you exactly where it is.’ Always tall women who told us when we said the garden was gorgeous, ‘Well, I lost my job.’ Always priests thrilled for visitors asking us to come back. Always priests telling us we’d better come inside and tour the church instead. Never anyone to help us find them. Only bullocks in fields running us down and us just barely making it to the car and the broadcast right then 70 year-old farmer killed by a bullock. The broadcast right then always dark children abused by clergy. The broadcast right then always dark children’s horses rounded up and slaughtered. The broadcast right then always dark an old woman crying Someone please just visit. Never anyone to help us find them. The broadcast right then The Taoiseach is drunk.


Kimberly Campanello


Kimberly Campanello was born in Elkhart, Indiana, and now divides her time between Dublin and London. Her first full-length collection Consent was published by Doire Press (Galway) in May 2013, and her pamphlet Spinning Cities was published by Wurm Press (Dublin) in 2011. Her poems have appeared in magazines in the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland, including 3:AM Magazine, Abridged, filling Station, nthposition, Tears in the FencePenduline, The Penny Dreadful, and The Stinging Fly. She was selected to read for the Poetry Ireland Introduction Series in 2011. Kimberly has taught Creative Writing at Florida Gulf Coast University, Middlesex University, and Big Smoke Writing Factory, and the Irish Writers’ Centre. 
[Image courtesy of Brian Kavanagh]