Sunday, June 6, 2010

I am Ruth by Máirtin Ó Connallan

On a clear September day, a young Cork woman and her child left Logan airport in Massachusetts, and what happened 25 minutes later, embedded itself in the minds of the civilised world, and East and West minds tried to entangle the reason for such callous slaughter, some understanding exactly, others utterly incredulous.

It was 9/11 as we now know it, and for the family of that Cork woman an incredible series of events were to follow, only typifying what each family involved of the 2,973 people who died that day, must have gone through.

I knew that girl young and vibrant, I knew her brothers, I do not know their pain, all I can ask are questions about all of us, and the following are some of these.

© Máirtin Ó Connallan

I am Ruth

I am Ruth

Of Ireland

From a suburb

In Cork

I am Ruth

Of Palestine

From an enclave

Among refugees

I am Ruth of Afghanistan

Near Kabul

I am Ruth of France

Saint Etienne

Mon Village

I am many myriad more Ruths

I have taken

My last journey

On this coil

My eternal itinerary

Has just begun

In the minds of men

I am the brother of Ruth

I took you home

We all did

One brothers pain

Is all brothers pain

Even your brother

In the grave pains

I am the President of Ruth

How fit are you to preside

Great men pontificating

While the commoner is pawned away

In this chess of life

And a death

A thousand deaths

Are but endgames

I am the artist of Ruth

Draw my portrait

If you dare

How can you portray incandescence

Guernica revisited

Rise up now Pablo the second

Emblazon the art corridors

Of this ephemeral world

I am the architect of Ruth

Recreate me

Place me on this shattered edifice

And let men marvel

At their Armageddon

I am the priest of Ruth

Can you still priest me?

Preach to me

Teach me

Your words are wasted

On these now deaf ears

Not of my own choosing

I am the confessor of Ruth

This is my confession

There are no truths

And there are no lies

But myriads in between

The juxtaposition of all our lives

I am the lover of Ruth

Can you still love me now?

I feel your love

Stronger and stronger

Longer and longer

Lonelier and lone

I am the poet of Ruth

Khalil Gibran in the desert

Rafteri dall on the bog

Kipling amongst the jungle

All of these

And none of these

For a new phoenix arises

From this terra nihilis

I hear his words

Their silence deafens me

I am the child of Ruth

Who never got to know my childhood

Evil men stole it away

One cold September day

Over Manhattan

I am the conscience of Ruth

Worried lest anyone be forgotten

A Kindness

Some small consideration

I am the soul of Ruth

Each of you knows me

Whether lying naked and chained

In some dark dungeon

Because of some misguided cause

Or resplendent on a Riviera boardwalk

Strutting and preening

Radiant redhead as I was

Pursuing another cause

I am the sister of Ruth

That never was

Only in her mind

I would have been as all sisters

Who whisper

And share

And care

I am the country of Ruth

Besmirched also by history

A child of marching feet

And guns ,and war, and death

And learned from all this

To stand among great nations

For Emmett’s words resound

The fools left us our Fenian dead

To start with

I am the tears of Ruth

They poured through that inferno

Vaporised to the heavens

Appeasing the soul less

No tears explain that madness

Night or day

I will cry forever

Until you explain

I am the happiness of Ruth

As a young girl

With no care

Only dreams and fantasies

Of life



And kisses

Take my hand

And walk that tree lined avenue

Weeping willows

Beech coppered walkway

Skipping schoolgirl

Nubile debutante

No plan but Saturday

At Con

I am the laughter of Ruth

Tossing my redhead

With abandon

I loved that gayness

Resplendent on rugged west Cork foreshores

Amidst the thronging masses

Or gayer still

Among the madding crown

At sunset in Crosshaven

Oh gra mo chroi I loved you

But all our songs are sad

I am the earth of Ruth

It is cold

My sisters are cold

Which ones you say

In high mountain passes

Tending goats to feed their young

Or sweat laden trudging the deserts of Sudan

We have a common bond

You and I are a sorority

Much much stronger than the Alma Mater sorority

Of all you proud Alumni

Our Alumnus is common

To all men

To all women

I am the hypocracy of Ruth

Worse than the lies of Ruth

Because I hide behind a veil of words

Men do this worse than any women can

Because they shun the spoken meaning word

These hypocrites never rest easy

So women

Watch your men

How straight does he lie beside you?

In the married bed

Or better still

The unwedded one

I am the ghost of Ruth

No banshee wailing

Through the dark mysterious night

I wailed my pain

Down floor nine eight

For splitting seconds

And shrieked my way to Hell

I am the freedom of Ruth

Why have I died?

Are you freer now

Than then

No comments:

Post a Comment