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  • Writer's pictureJim Brown

Road to the Mournes




I don’t think I need to say too much about this poem as the title is self-explanatory. Suffice to say that this is a journey I have made hundreds of times and I know this route like the back of my hand. The majority of the journey is through drumlin country, with the road winding its way along, offering only the occasional view of the Mournes but this in no way dulls the anticipation of the ultimate goal. If Brennans or any other shop doesn’t tempt us to stop, the journey takes about forty minutes.


I would like to thank my long-time and equally enthusiastic Mournes aficionado Paddy Mallon for the use of his car (Daisy) for filming purposes and companionship on all sorts of mountain adventures over forty years.


This poem will be supporting the British Dyslexic Association. I have suffered with dyslexia all my life and school years were difficult but I have learnt techniques for dealing with it.


Charities such as the British Dyslexic Association help give young people the tuition and tools they need to deal with the difficulties they encounter and show them that although poor spelling and problems with reading and writing can bring embarrassment and undermine confidence there are ways to manage it.


If you enjoy the poem please consider making a donation.



Road To The Mournes


I love driving up out of the city,

On the busy Saintfield Road.

Traffic lights and Junctions may not be pretty,

And other drivers may jockey and goad.

But I am escaping... breaking free,

Heading for the Kingdom of Mourne.

Mountains jam packed by the Irish sea,

Where so many good memories are born.

 

Up through suburbia and past Carryduff,

To the hedged green fields and hills,

Driving away from that everyday stuff,

Work, responsibilities, issues and bills.

Then just before Temple, if the weather’s fine,

A tantalising long distant sight.

That Mourne heartbeat on the skyline,

 Pulse tracing from left to right.

 

Driving on South to Ballynahinch,

That historic Ulster market town.

Slowed by its constricting traffic pinch,

Before re-emerging in the Drumlins of Down.

Thinking now of the day ahead,

Of the walk, climb, or mountain run,

Fingers crossed that the sky overhead,

Will smile with a suitable sun.

 

On down the road skirting Drumaness,

Those Forty Shades and more flitting by.

Maybe Brennan’s tempts us to digress

For provisions, or a tasty Ulster fry.

Then onwards for the view of the day,

From atop a hill, just a mile past Clough.

There lined up behind Dundrum bay,

Donard, Commedagh and Na Glough.

 

We could head out west from Dundrum,

For Slieve Bernagh, the Meels or Pigeon Rock,

Or Tollymore Forest if the weather’s rum,

Or rock-climbing on Hen and Cock.

But today we push on to Newcastle town,

And in Donard Park we finally arrive.

The mountains now huge and sweeping down,

What a way to finish the drive.

 

 Jim Brown   March 2021



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