Wednesday 7 March 2007

Cliona by the Shore

This is a poem in the Filí tradition; the code within it is accessible to anyone with the time to read a few sagas and perhaps have a look through the Key of Solomon: it's one I never bother explaining. People seem to find their own meaning in it; the meaning it has for me is intensely personal which makes it amusing that in its obscurity it seems to be one poem others find universal!
Available in the Where the Hazel Falls Anthology

Cliona by the Shore

I let myself in
with the key of the kings and
wrapped red ribbons
around my poor head.
‘I thought you were dead’ said
my mother.

I fired up at this and she waved me aside
‘I merely remark’ was her only reply

I heard on the news that the Temple had
I am aghast at their simple faith
And men search their words
For slivers of meanings
shards and remnants
of a truth they will hate
‘you came home too late’, says my mother

The debt I repaid is burning a hole in my pocket
For the cruelty of martyrs is mercy.

The wet grass smelt sweetly
Giving me courage
I willfully left there
and drove to the ocean
but none of the fishermen
put out to sea.
‘Are you leaving me? ’ asks my mother

I smiled in return and released her to fade.
For I am the prophet of beauty decayed.

We dwell by the shore now
And bless the white thimble
The rue grows around us
like weeds on a grave and the favour still warms us
in cottage or cave
‘We’ll save the world later’, my wise mother says.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


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