“On Cutting Through the Mountain”

News Editor, Oran Barr’s first poem for the Inkpot. Photo Source: Fresh Eye Solutions.


Oran Barr, News Editor. 


An uncanny and unfamiliar view: the sun gazing over the Sperrins.

Light granted sight and in the

smarting, sticky glow of day the range seemed endless.

Every peak, 

protruding from plate like 

vertebrae of the obscene Oilliphéist, aspired to pierce the clouds (had there been any) and

swelling like the ego of that Boeotian hunter, set Olympus and Rheasilvia to blushes.

An omnidirectional parsec of perpetual nihility that, 

swallowing the senses, 

renders proprioception void.

Everything suspended for a second or century under the watch of that inert sentinel, whose 

magnitude mirrored the Cosmic Turtle.

Say some stray tenant of Mountsandel

had wandered through these ancient fields and looked, as I do, upon the eminence of this glen;

From now til then, this Precambrian master had aged but a second. 

Words are feeble against this primordial Schist and cannot hope to evoke it.

But all perceived as hard then shifts; I see the hulk in its youth suffering 

the divorce of Rodinia; drifting further from its peers – drowning.

Even now the car traced the scar carved in the little pinnacle. 

Granted, it bore us tourists stoically on

Granite too pure for poetry.

Yet still I see, as clear as Sawel, the young stone struggling to breathe the noxious air;

Freezing and thawing with the trends of the earth and

Bearing it all alone.

No wonder it had become catatonic.

How fitting, that every traveller on their 

commute between the Pillars of the  North,

should be forced to stare


in the eyes and acknowledge


earth began.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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