Poetry

“Sneem Tavern”

SNEEM TAVERN in black letters on drab walls,

A stark exterior on an empty street.

Inside, walls are warm and bright

Wrapped in yellow, and pictures, and relics,

 Scraps of days gone by,

A collage that marks this place

Home

The slap and clap of hands on hands,

The rhythmic stomp of feet on the floor,

 Singing – a song for Ireland,

And a Guinness-filled choir,

 Cheering for poets and bards

Are the heartbeat and joyful breath of the place

 Faces – young, old

Irish, American

Strange, familiar.

Each reflecting in the other,

Woven together

In the fabric of this moment in time

Catch hands

And spin in a perfect chaos.

Trooping uphill in the dark,

One look back over my shoulder

At the tavern radiating life

From the center of the village.

In my memory, the song plays on.

 

“Gratitude”

For mountains rising up on all sides,

And black rocks scattered by the shore,

For flowers underfoot, yellow and white all over.

For moments of incredible joy

For brief, shared moments,

For moments when I stepped out of the scene to say

 “Thank you for all of this, here.”

For the universe’s web, stitching all of these together,

Every  piece – every person, every place,

Paths that cross by surprise,

Each colorful thread

Or chunk of stained glass

Joined to make a whole.

For the greatest story ever told

For the story that is now mine

For being carried safely through vast unknowns –

Till now, I have never been so far from home

Till now, I have never been so close to my ancient past
Till now, I have never seen so much life
Burst from a single seed
Till now, I have never felt so aware of the prize

That is the life

That is mine.

So now,

I will dig deeply

I will go

I will fall backwards to kiss stones

I will cultivate my piece of earth and give thanks for

Surprises, moments, past and present,

I will be the sower and sheaf

I will till
now.

“Stow Away”

 Something I expected to leave in Ireland,

It would not fit in my suitcase or in my bags,

I did not intend to bring it back with me,

I thought that I had left it behind.

Until, beginning to unpack,

I found it had followed me home.

It came tucked between the images that fill my mind

Of land I fell in love with,

Songs and stories I collected,

And small moments of consciousness

Of being blessed.

 

“Rosemary’s Mug”

I sit on a table

Gently covered in the smell of

Paint and clay and colors

Surrounded by two dozen others

Each a little different.

The door swings open again

And the room is doused with light

That wakes up the canvas sea of painted faces,

The tiles and pottery,

Crimson and cobalt,

Flowers and fish.

Curious fingers and wondering eyes

Pass over us slowly

And then leave.

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