Am I forsaken—forsaken by myself?
Lists long of what would be gleaned from life
sparkled for so many years—within in reach.
Tasted it…smelled it—but could never quite touch it.
It loomed about the corner of my mind’s eye,
white and towering as a mansion.
Tapestries and pedestals, portraits and perfume—
Gold glinted from every ornament my heart desired.
Is it all erased, that opulent dream?
Did I wash it from my consciousness,
as I sat in the bath listening to God?
‘Can you accept a ripped seam, worn shoe, a bit of tarnish?’
I washed the floor tonight on my knees,
ate dust and breathed the fumes.
‘I am happy.’
Each swipe of the cloth brings purpose.
Such tasks once seemed so heavy, but now I am light.
I am Light.
Knees hurt, back aches—this life is not easy.
There are no silken sheets or velvet chairs.
But there is plenty of water—
and some food, and well wishes, and my floors are clean.
Weeds and Bones
Touch the light and fan so bright
a beauty that cannot fade.
Like roses in autumn, you bloom anew
never fearing the frost.
How could you? The flame is your keeper—
more passionate than a lover.
Your kiss is indelible,
a mark upon my brow as a blessing from a goddess.
Gentle woman. Kind woman. Real woman.
You dress your house in nature—weeds and bones—
door opened to the unwanted and dying.
From your mouth springs earth—your eyes the rain.
With wattle and daub you weave what’s left of soil and sinew-
magic baskets for catching broken hearts…
wherein you hold them—safely—to let them heal.
Eidolon oh! Eidolon!
She talks to clovers and whispers as an angel
“grow—grow!” steeped in heady revolution,
listening to a call few seldom hear.
She beats the drum--Boom! Boom! Boom!
Her heartbeat reverberates through the bones.
I felt it at first glance many years past— Even now
the moon, trees, and stars are her playthings—
She owns them naturally—revels in their conversation
of wondrous mirth!
Face to the heavens, she spins upon the night grass
Laughing, ‘Eidolon—oh! Eidolon!”
The Famine War
(with thanks to Jeannine and Christina)
Lara blue eyes walks the street-Tralee—like scarlet.
Do you hate him for not coming home?
Empty paint pots and no canvas, cold hearth
I see the stone floors of that space you-Laid out.
Frost coats them in the morning with
Green smears from wool heated by desperation.
How you hated them all— gold rings, and fine bonnets—
Tear through the Lass. I felt your horror—
Drunk and tumbling, in dirty sheets-
Stale tobacco—whiskey and beer lingers
On their breath-hot anticipation.
Was it you I felt all those nights? The loss, the lonliness—
That black void that will eat up every ounce of substance?
Irish Lass. He called you his ‘Real’ Irish lass.
Tall, dark—he played the violin while you mixed your paints
Ignoring the war—the lack, he only spoke of better times
Of what would be, of what was grand:
Long, dark red hair- Skin like milk
Everything is as it should be- a chailín mo chroí!
I knew an Irishman who said that to me.
I felt so passionately; I thought I would explode.
His first words to me touched my gut—my soul it shimmered.
Was I merely remembering you, Lara? Was it your son I bore?
Everything is as it should be. All will be well.
So he said when he left to fight.
So my Irishman said when he left to live.
Two winters past and the frozen dew returns
Paint the cross—although all hope of God died long ago.
Smooth whispers hot as hands urged your talent
But it was flattery to get ‘neath the skirt.
And there you lay on the dew-slick stones
As hunger gnawed beneath skin grown thin as paper.
Had it all come to this?
I’ve known lack all my life, Lara. I am no longer afraid of it.
It no longer has to be. Abundance is everywhere.
Open—open your blue eyes and see through mine—green.
The whole world is green and alive.
The war was over but he never came home.
Did you wonder that he had abandoned you?
To Dublin? In the arms of another?
It crossed your mind
For in the years apart had taught you much.
Men love conveniently—so casually.
I have never loved with my whole heart.
They say cannot until I see you through.
Let go Lara, blue eyes—let go. Surrender my love to me!
It was easier to believe—better somehow to think
That he might still be alive.
But spring came and the ice melted,
And with it Lara blue eyes frozen by fear ceased.
The great blue yawn—down to sleep forever in frost.
Well, not me, Lara. I’m not going down…
I walk through fear aflame.
She praises the sun,
hands to the sky,
in motion—fluid and strong.
Lips move loud prayers,
and she blinks,
a period when the sounds dies.
End of the sentence.
‘What do you see in the sun?’ you ask.
A laugh thunders scattering the
wonder wavering behind her eyes.
like butterflies taking flight.
‘My reflection,’ she says.
You cannot help but look upward.
‘Don’t look too long,’ she smiles.
‘I shine very bright.’