On a Wave of Light is my new poetry film, the result of a ‘Local Live Performance Laois County Council’ commission, for which I’m hugely grateful.
Like most of my previous films, this one was shot entirely on an iPhone, but in this instance I also wrote and played the music (something of a new departure), greatly emboldened by a generous contribution from bodhrán maestro Colm Phelan.
Over the past year or so I’ve spent a lot of time visiting and re-vising places that have a real emotional draw, trying to figure out ways to convert some of that attraction into words and images. In the case of Dunamase (a ruined castle in the heart of my native county of Laois), I’ve come to realise that as well as the places themselves, it is also, of course, the people I associate with them that make them special and, one might say, regenerative, for more than 50 years.
The irony of feeling renewed by a visit to a ruin is not lost on me, but surely it’s out of these apparent contradictions that people have always made poems and songs and stories, not least in troubled and troubling times such as our own. In any case I’m happy now to add my contribution to the ongoing exchange – and, as the ancient Egyptian cartographer Ptolemy did almost 2000 years ago, to add ‘Dunum’ (as he called it) as a central attraction on my personal map of Ireland.