Tuesday 2 December 2008

Making links

Decide now

1.

When Margaret called
I had my hands in washing up
up to the elbows
hair falling in drips
face hot and sweaty

2.

Is it oak or
something lighter?
what lining?
I am winning the war
on grease and remains
I do not wish to be thrown
back into the heated debate
Let someone else decide.

I am paralysed
in the face of brisk
efficiency;
left swimming a bubble
prone to explosion
ready to pierce myself
and be consumed again
by the whole.

There were several
points raised that could
be good or bad, depending.
And some chit chat.
I got off the phone lightly.



Make up your mind


1. So when I saw it
was introduced to it like
I wasn't terribly impressed
but what could I say?
I wasn't listening, it was not I

It was solid,
much more there than I
had imagined
much more final
more respectable

Although - if I am honest
it was obscene. That it was, was
offensive.

Or am I just
panicked?


Let it go

1. It remains to be seen

For some reason that sounds
fanciful and fun
Like,
we can decide it all later
It doesn't really matter
It's not all that important

Whereas I know
it can't be postponed.
I can see, how it would be
awkward
become a point of contention
if we were too
laissez faire.

I compose myself.
Literally I make myself up.
I invent stanzas, so that when
I am asked
I may answer.
This is interminable. Hard benched,
hard pressed. I wait.

I suppose in the face of this;
it all really is
academic.

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Tuesday 18 November 2008

Normal Service...

...will be resumed after I finish Nanowrimo; so far I'm on scedule (day 18, 30101 words and counting) and as usual the plot has dived off the rails, the characters have lost the run of themselves and I'm having a laugh.
Highly recommended :)

nanowrimo.org - it's probably too late now but go for it next year - or read around and if you enjoy reading peoples novels donate to the very worthy Nanowrimo Cause!!

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Wednesday 5 November 2008

Nanowrimo

I'm doing Nanowrimo again this year.
Nanowrimo is an excellent event, a mad manic "write a novel in a month" event. It literally is a chance to write a novel in one month, 50000 words is the goal. The point is to fling words at a page and enjoy the esperience of writing, rather than editing and rewriting and obsessing over what you write, though some participants manage to achieve both quantity and quality.

I am a weak novelist :) poetry is definitely my genre. But I have to say I enjoy Nanowrimo immensely. I always go for the humour and it amuses me if nothing else !
If you participate it's also nice to donate (from $10, not much a months entertainment) It keeps the site going, and then additionally raises money for teachers and mentors and books and writing programs for areas that otherwise would recieve no such help.

My nanowrimo

Come have a read, and if you're participating please friend me!

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Wednesday 22 October 2008

From the Secret Diary of a Capitalist

From roughly the same "voice" as "Overheard in Dublin": this is a voice that is elitist, but honestly so, caustic and somewhat misanthropic. I thought posting another from the same vein of poetry might help to put "Overheard" in context...not as a literal expression of contempt or dislike but as an imagined and imaginative moment in life.
Never read poetry as purely surface emotion (unless it's in the centre of a Hallmark card :) )



From the Secret Diary of a Capitalist


The girl on the bus
looked normal
’til she fixed her eyes on mine
and solemnly assured me
that the end was nigh. So
with a sigh and a
muttered excuse
I once again changed seats.

This is why I drive. The
much maligned isolation
the experts beg us all to overcome -
within my jaundiced heart I find it a
sweet boon and comfort.
Why throw myself upon the mercy
of the world
or seek comfort in the kindness of
strangeness?

Yes, strangeness. It’s odd to want to climb across
the seats,
reach out clammy hands to touch the
hearts
of others. Daytime pundits of a warped
charity, back off, you living dead.
Armed with every half baked theory of Armageddon
and the reason why
Aliens want sex with earth women.
News flash, kids, I don’t care.

I want my car back. I want
to sink into cushioned seats
and listen to my radio
and change gears with reckless
glee – and pass these sad people
at bus stops on rainy days-
oh, and guzzle petrol and emit
fumes,
and generally be me.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

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Thursday 16 October 2008

The Last Rose Blooms


For Emer


The last rose blooms
in rare weather; it takes
rain and sunshine,
good times deferred
bad days and first frost
and luck; good soil,
good stock.

The fading glory appeals
to older eyes; wiser tastes
applaud and accept
its rich fragility,
the final beauty adorning
our autumn days
with grace.

It weathered spring storms
and summer torrents
the sun's relentless beating
and the shade
until it put forth one perfect
bloom; a memory of days
now past

Other plants wither, decay
give in early to the cold
lose heart at the first blasts
of autumn winds -
Some draw on roots that run
deep into good earth -
and bloom.

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Thursday 25 September 2008

Overheard in Dublin

Overheard


'I gave her my old phone, she was stone delighted, '
the Navan man said:
while his Cork culchie brethren
blew hot and cold into the headpiece
all bluetooth and shiny smile
schmoozing on the street.
'He said he didn't but what do you think? '
a brunette pushes past me angrily
'That little huir, I hope she's happy now-'
she moves too far away
I am tempted to follow, I want to know
what did he do? and if it's likely, his guilt,
and who is the rival woman?
'I can't, ' the teenager wails,
chewing the fingernails of one hand
a bovine testament to the need
for population control.
'Wha'? ' she stares blankly into middle space
her mothers voice shrill and tinny
spelling out the name of a washing powder brand.
'...if you move that account around, it should be
all right, ' He moves in and out
of earshot, a worried shadow
with quick panicked steps.
So many voices, overheard
I wonder, how few heard over
the din?

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

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Wednesday 24 September 2008

Recessive Gene

Ah the Recession: I'm not saying its a good thing - god knows it wasn;t a good thing in the 80s, when there were no jobs and no hope. But I confess to a certain amount of fascinated interest watching the kids who grew up in the boom come to terms - slowly - with the sudden loss of instant gratification. Here's hoping it lasts long enough to teach a few lessons and ends soon enough to spare them the worst lessons of the last recession.


We're going back in time
back to the 80s,
back to the time
when pennies counted and money
pinched us
from payday to payday
and we spent our time hounded by
bills, chased
from one crises of money
management
to another.

The Celtic Tiger died
or at least, is ailing beyond
vetinary aid.
I remember the days
when credit cards were all that stood
between the electricity company
and candlelight cold suppers.
We used to count it a blessing
when there was extra.
Not extra in particular
just any margin between us
and the cold.

What will they do?
little cubs, mewling blind,
like headless chickens still running
from Venu to Brown Thomas
not yet aware that they're out of fuel
- Ah is it schadenfreude? but I confess
I want to see them, creditless
in the city. I want to see them walk,
think twice before wasting;
realize in a disposable society
they are disposed of most easily of all.

If we are lucky,
lack of money, lack of choice
fear and the opening of chasms
giddy depths visible for once
beneath well shod feet,
might breed
compassion; might shake
loose our comfortable
bigotry,
might feed something
unnourished by wealth.


Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

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Friday 19 September 2008

New Poetry Anthology Seeks Submissions



The Pagan Poetry Pages is seeking submissions from new and past members for their first Anthology due out at Yule; the submissions deadline is November 10th and poetry can be submitted along with a bio to ppp@anfianna.com. Poems should reflect the spirutal nature of the poet and/or a theme of nature, seasons, festivals and celebrations of spirituality. However all good poetry will be considered. Submissions must be accompanied by a short BIO and submitted in the name under which they should be published.

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Wednesday 17 September 2008

And the Leaves begin to turn...






Down by Ben Bulben, the leaves are turning
the russets are emerging
triumphant over green, gold
running riot, copper beeches
glowing. Orange the wayside flowers
and paler blue the sky -
September is arrived.

Down by Ben Bulben
As the road slopes to Leitrim
the Glencar lakeside boasts
colours fit to clothe a king. The crows
startle black against
the spread of the year's last finery
as the sun crowns the day
and the leaves begin to turn.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

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Saturday 30 August 2008

Beauty at Dusk





Beauty at Dusk





The room is stilled
dimmed by evening light through
shuttered blinds
A perfect evening, summer spring
treees laced with early leaves
bright fields, sunlight on windowglass
an empty room
and silence


the brightness of the dusk is
blinding - more glaring than noon in dust
and the silence splinters with shrill throated birds
and distant laughter
til the laughter and the song seem silent too
part of the peace that oppresses this room

the beauty is too perfect
too real for me

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

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Sunday 24 August 2008

Pomegranate

A little poem I wrote a while back about words, and their richness; incidentally I recently met online a user of a forum whose moniker was "pomegranate" and who turned out to be lovely. It's confirmed this word as one of my favourites :)





I collect words;
Collate and catalogue them
in some library of the mind, to which
I get sporadic access, as the muse decrees.

I hope if I store enough words, there will always be one
no matter how scarce the favours scattered:
that paucity of concept will yield
before the wealth amassed in syllable and dipthong.

I hold some words in high regard
I once spent a day musing on the sound of 'leech'
and make alliterative lists of favourite mots
Whistling, Wonder, Weird, Wildflower.

But of all the troves and chests and caverns
overflowing with jewelled noise, bedecked with meanings and
subtle shades of burnished thought, lies
one word, elegant in its simplicity, its economy of meaning:

yet extravagent in form, reigning
Supremely succulent in tone
a taste of desire and wealth, one word -
Pomegranate.

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Saturday 23 August 2008

I Love your Blog Award


WOW thanks to AncestralCelt for a lovely shout out on her blog awards :)
the rules of the award are....

1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
2. Link the person you received the award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links of those blogs on yours
5. Leave a message on the blogs nominated

I got two from the lovely AC, one for Scenesofireland and the other for Dreams of Reality, this poetry blog, so i'm only going to do one pass on or I'll be here all day :) so this can do for both lol.
I would have to list Ancestral Celt's blog as one of my favourites, I don't know if you're allowed to do that as part of the list so I'll do 7 others anyway :)

1. McaWilliams Photo Blog
2. InPhotos.org
3. Darren Greene

The above are my inspiration in photography, three incredible photographers with wonderful "eyes" for a shot!

4. Island Blogging by Hermit Life:
incandescent writing, wonderful stories, glimpses of a different way of living, a different way of being.

5. Notes from the Plot

A wonderful blog that induces jealousy every time I look at it; a friend Gina writes about her wonderful adventures in gardening and her lovely produce. I've long been a major fan of her cardmaking and crafts (she made our wedding invitations) but I would love to spend a day on her plot, watching her at work!

6. Nicole Crawford A superb personal blog entitled "A Woman Undeniable"
7. Nick Here and Now Another excellent read, both political and personal, I look forward to all his entries

That's my best choices, although especially where the photography is concerned there are a LOT of fabulous ones out there. Now off to annoy people with an award :)
also an honourable mention to
Irish Photographers a stunning collection of the best Irish photography blogs from the rank amatuer (me) to the professional and talented (above)

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Thursday 26 June 2008

A Faithless Sister: Blood Fetters part Three

This the final part of the Trilogy: It took a long time to write and wouldn't have been written at all, had not old issues and devilment resurfaced.
The previous poems are here
Artistically I am glad - it's been a still birthed poem for a long time and as a poet, carthartic to release and finish. And it is part of but independent of the other two, as each of those are from each other.
As a person - slightly sad.
UPDATED: Thanks so much to readers for their comments and analysis of the Trilogy! I was surprised and interested by the level of reaction and the fact that most readers enjoyed the gothic journey. From answering comments I put together the following commentary on the poem from my pov : the legacy of madness and conflict can be seen either in the personal (eg within a family as Sara remarked) or societally (within the context of conflict in general) And there is another conflict, that really (for me as the poet) is the key to the trilogy and that is Creative Conflict. The conflict between the warring individuals within the poetic soul; the conflict between our varoius legacies and our desire to be new, free, reinvent. That creative conflict is expressed fully in the Trilogy, more so than in any other work I've managed.
As Penny wrote in her comments, the trilogy is about the Dark Shadow side of us all - the conflict between self and self image, and is an abstract journey, trying first to reconcile and then accept the divorce from warring aspects of my own self.

Thanks to all for reading and commenting!



Blood Fetters - History Erased.

I have a sister
in the shadows
- she is the spider in the corner.
I have a sister
whose blood fetters me,
ties me unwilling to her madness
her lies;
her house of shames and half-perceived
sleights of hand.
She has now re-written the past,
family history
twisted
through the kaleidoscope
of her madness.
We have acquired Jewish ancestry.
The kindly Jewess neighbour of our childhood
transmogrified
without her permission
into some distant,
holocaustic
relative.
My own Jewish friends
Offended
beyond words - bad enough she
hawks their collective pain
to produce some born again credentials.
Essentially,
she is a creeping
death.
Poison pen wielded in
self aggrandizement
doggerel offered
as a palliative to gentile minds
untroubled
by depth of understanding.
Our childhood reissued in gothic form
complete with a new province,
new vitae
in a new milieu,
part of our nation's conflict,
born in semtex
and raised by armalite;
inexplicable captions from events
grisly remains
behind golden altars
insulting the old
and the new, the very
marrow of our heritage
prostituted.
I read in disbelief,
fragments
that yield her delusions
read and disbelieve
and fear.
The truth is
a distant country
divorced from her now.
She has denied us
foresworn us
betrayed us.
We are the Tuatha and
she is now
Foreign.
My life has rooted
flowered in the essence
of my reality.
hers is withering on
a dead tree
hanging.

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Saturday 21 June 2008

Mary Bakes Bread by the Fire

Mary bakes bread by the fire, stout hands kneading fleshy fingers tightening and rolling amid folds of white dough. The flames flicker higher on her forearms match the red sweat of her face, fan the flicker of hate in her eyes. Mary is not pretty; Mary is not slender; Mary is not elegant; Mary bakes sweet dainties for sweet dainty ladies who are everything Mary is not.

Fire rises, fire warms, fire destroys, fire consumes. Mary is the light reflected in polished copper, bronze fireplace ornaments, pokers and tongs. Hammers and Tongs, she goes at it, the dirty wench. Mary blinks thoughts from her mind that she wishes were not there; but there they lurk, constant. Mary is not happy to be - Mary.

Fat Mary, Big Mary, Slow Mary. Hail Mary. Priest would not approve, Preacher would disavow. Wise woman says, make bread by the fire.

Mary bakes bread by the fire, sweltering in heat, heart rate raised, flushed and warm and moist, smelling her own body with each movement, enjoying now the sway of buttocks, the roll of fat, the swell and ebb of the heavy mix.
Mary is not alone, eyes watch transfixed, eyes follow buttock, hip and arm, eyes and mouth and nose concur, hands open door, feet cross floor.
Wise woman warns Mary. You don’t know what may happen. Mary doesn’t care. Mary is strong; Mary is brave; Mary is capable; Mary bakes bread for women whoa re everything Mary is not. She is tired of being only the names they choose to call her. She wants new names. Mother, Lover, Woman. The fire is still rising, she will not bank it down.

Someone moves closer, someone who should know better, old enough to know better, better educated, better born. Someone called better than Mary, bends over her, whispers to her, sweet words, soft words.
Fingers intertwined, breath mingling, hearts beating, arms still kneading, twisting, hands exploring soft, yielding - flesh or dough? Mary no longer knows. All she can think is yes, all she can reason is that this is hers, for her, about her. She is the one, the dancer in the centre of the hall, the masked lady performing for the court, she is the centre and the cause. Still the fire rises, eyes meet finally, surprise and intrigue leap between. Mary wonders, but she does not pause. Some things you wait for too long.
Priest would cluck, Goodwives sniff, Wise Woman merely smiled and winked – lascivious old woman enjoying the faint heat from another, faraway Hearth. Wise Woman gave oils, to be rubbed into the folds at the bosom, at the belly, in the soft crevices where leg meets sex, on the pulse; unguents that unfurl in the heat of the fire, mingled with the smell of baking, working their way into the sweat and tears and kisses. Wise Woman did not turn away, did not preach abstinence, did not despise the woman who yearned. Wise Woman merely smiled and winked.
Mary returns to herself, to the moment, to the heat. Spent and panting, bemused and wondering. Strong arms surround her, throaty chuckles into her neck, affection on a face that she thought had never noticed her. Strange words in her ear, words that caress and tease. She is not despised nor discarded. She has been noticed and wanted. She is not invisible in this place, perhaps never has been – dark eyes are troubled by her silence. Dark eyes smile into hers and ask questions men ask only of women whose hearts are not overlooked. Mary is warmed by more than fire. Heat rises from more than flame and coal. Mary feels cool flagstone tile under bare skin, and is suddenly afraid.


to be continued.......

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Thursday 19 June 2008

Brighid's Runes Anthology


In Aid of the Green Belt Movement Rachel Mica McCann has produced and edited a lovely collection of women's poetry entitled Bridhid's Runes . Rachel describes the book as

"'Brighid's Runes' is a collection of around 40 poems by over twenty women from various parts of Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland. The poems celebrate the sacred in every day life and our relationship with the earth. They are funny, poignant, eloquent and passionate! Some of the poets are well published, others are new to print. The money raised from the sale of the book will go towards supporting Women's and Earth healing projects, especially the Green Belt Movement in Kenya established by nobel prize winner Wangari Maatthai which has empowered women through planting trees and community development."
It's a lovely collection and I'm delighted to be involved. Ms McCann has worked very hard to produce something that is worth reading, and for the Greenbelt Movement's sake, well worth buying!
Available directly from Rachel, e-mail: rmicamc@yahoo.co.uk.
£5.50 inc P&P

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Thursday 29 May 2008

Asian Geographic Magazine

Asian Geographic Magazine asked last month is they could use an extract from my poem Where Once Stood Tribes


Where once stood tribes
who rose and fell
on the bounty of a living land
soul and soil intertwined
One blood, one heart,
of one mind,
muscle and sinew
rock and tree

Three copies of the magazine arrived today; and I have to say I am proud of my involvement with it. It's as visually beautiful as you'd expect from Asian Geographic but the entire issue is devoted to the vanishing tribes and tribal way of life of Asia, a wonderful tour through amazing and timeless cultures.

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Thursday 22 May 2008

Glowing Heart of Spirit



It surprised me to see
Spirit imprisoned.
We stood in the great space
the sacred place of Rome
watching the awe on the faces
of tourists and pilgrims;
and I looked up at Spirit
and wondered, what did she think
of it all?

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Saturday 22 March 2008

Tara Appreciation Society Mourn Loss of Tara

Irish Times, 17 March 2008Tara protesters parade in SydneyJohn Ingram, an Aboriginal man with Irish heritage, led the paradedressed as St Patrick in Sydney, writes Pádraig Collins .A GROUP opposed to the construction of a motorway near the Hill of Tarain Co Meath paraded past the Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey atyesterday's St Patrick's Day parade in Sydney.The Tara Appreciation Society's parade entry featured about 10 peoplebehind a banner saying "Tara - 7,000 years of Irish History"."It's great, wonderful democracy. I was delighted to see Tara promoted,"Mr Dempsey told The Irish Times.In contrast to the rest of the marchers, who were mostly wearing green,the Tara Appreciation Society members stood out by mostly wearing black.The group's website said their lack of numbers in the parade was "due toapproaches to the [St Patrick's Day parade] committee". "While we wantedthis to be a festive community effort allowing families, etc, to join usin celebrating Tara's unique history . . . we have now restricted whocan join us in the parade."The protest has not led to a change of heart though. "There areprocedures that are decided upon," Mr Dempsey said.This year's parade, which was watched by a crowd of about 10,000, wasled by John Ingram, an Aboriginal man with Irish heritage, who wasdressed as St Patrick. All 32 counties were represented in the parade,as were Irish cultural organisations, Sydney GAA clubs and local pipe bands."This year was as good as it has ever been," said Tommy McAdam from CoMonaghan, who has lived in Sydney since 1956. "There were more floatsthan I've seen before and there's a great crowd watching too."Also enjoying the parade was Sister Christina O'Connor of the Sisters ofSt Joseph, whose mother was from Wexford and father from Clare. "ThePatrician Brothers and World Youth Day sections were very good," said SrChristina.The Catholic Church's World Youth Day, which is held every three years,is being held in Sydney in July.Swiss man Racheed Ahmed was wearing a Kerry jersey while watching theparade. "One of the Irish girls I work with gave it to me," he said."We are the only west Europeans where I work. I've been to every StPatrick's Day parade in Sydney since 1996.

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Thursday 28 February 2008

Are women Human? and Other great books....

By Jeremy Lovell
LONDON (Reuters) - They may not leap off the shelves into the best-seller category, but the books shortlisted for the oddest book title prize certainly grab the attention.
"I was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen" recounts the tale of a fictional U.S. World War Two fighter pilot who is captured by jungle pygmies led by a sadistic woman.
Its sequel, which is not on the shortlist released by trade publication The Bookseller (www.thebookseller.com) Friday, needs no explanation: "Go Ahead, Woman, Do Your Worst."
"How to Write a How to Write Book" and "Cheese Problems Solved" are likewise self-explanatory as is the equally eclectic niche tome "People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr. Feelgood" that strives to put the English east coast resort on the map.
While none of the above may challenge the sensibilities too much, others are likely to prove more divisive. Try "If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs" or "Are Women Human? And other International Dialogues."
"I confess: I have been anxious that as publishing becomes ever more corporate, the trade's quirky charms are being squeezed out," said Horace Bent, The Bookseller diarist and custodian of the prize.
"But happily my fears have been proved unfounded: oddity lives on. Drawing up the six-strong shortlist was a fraught and wildly controversial process."
Bent paid tribute to those books that failed to make the list, including titles such as "Drawing and Painting the Undead" and "Glory Remembered: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters," wishing them better luck next yea
Literary enthusiasts wishing to cast a vote can visit the Web site. The winner will be announced on March 28.

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Thursday 14 February 2008

Your Touch

Your Touch


The warm smell of
sleep and heat
surrounds me with your
quilt, your bed;
my hair spread like down
across your pillow
and drowsy senses,
reaching.



Happy Valentine's Day

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Friday 8 February 2008

The Gypsy came, riding.

The Gypsy came,
riding! With thunder hooves
his horse played herald
to his royal approach
and I, a Lady, turned my head
and hurried

I burned like Lot's wife
and glanced - my undoing -
his eyes met mine
a gypsy like a ghost
from the romances
my mother read
a gypsy king
a vagabound

He hung around
and the Gentlemen began
to talk of him
a fine fellow
a rare on for the dogs
and games played with badgers
on moonfull nights
and rare one for the ladies
and other nocturnal sports

He stared and me
til I lost countenance
and lowered my eyes
and he began
to woo me, like Desdemona
had been courted -
with stories.

And I became the
the Gypsy's lady
favoured of all his patrons
Until he left, my GYpsy
not fled but moved
amid flurry and laughter.
I would not plead.

Next Summer I watched
the roads
in dust and cool
at twilight, at dawn, at
all those times the poets love
and women hate with reason.

I heard last year
there was amerchant's son wed
a flightly lad given to sport
a darkhaired, wideeyed man
who used to spend each summer
wandering.

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Wednesday 23 January 2008








Crossings

Some roads
lead to highlands, mountains
grand vistas
and some from one side of mystery
to another.
Some show you continents
but many
simply the choice between
open field and safe
dark
forest.


Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

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