Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beyond the Bone

 © 2015    Madelaine Nerson MacNamara

Time is passing of wind on land
the gift of slant to rooted things.
Time the power of storms on seas
joins the realms of spray and mist.

Time is colour of sun on skin
the pale hollow of indoor looks.
Time is the plump swelling of fruit
the crunch of teeth on passion pips.

Time is your face and it is mine
and nothing more beyond the bone.

Time is the wild unkempt backyard
the hoped garden at dawn come true.
Time the trowel unheld by hand
the guest hostess, the planting done.

Time is the night the dream has shone
time is the drear old digging days.
Time the visit of the goddess
invited in and through the house.

Time is the flight I know in dreams
that I can teach to my children.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Search for Roots

A Search for Roots © 2015 Marie Guillot
Seeking in the rain…

The pouring rain does not deter the two senior women who have travelled the Seven Seas to reach the place. Wearing wax jackets and wellies, armed only with pruning shears and cameras, they are scouting an old graveyard by the sea, in a remote area of Ireland. They try to read an ancient map that currently looks like a wet rag. At any rate, it's more of a rough sketch, found in their family papers in Australia.

Alone at the beginning, they can now hear voices; next thing, three young men appear from nowhere, walking in-line along the only narrow path crossing the cemetery, in the direction of the sea. They are speaking loudly, in a language that is closer to Russian than to Gaelic or English. The open skies do not seem to affect them either.

Each party nods politely to the other and the trio disappears, but not far, as the duo can still hear their discussion, getting livelier with time. The women make their own noises, with exclamations and laughs, as they find -or not- the clues they are seeking.

The job at hand is hard: most of the tombs are covered in ivy and bushes have sprung up everywhere; in truth, machetes would have been more efficient. In addition, rain and winds have eroded many inscriptions. It takes patience: cutting off enough vegetation to reach the text and trying to interpret the remaining letters and dates. They may never succeed, as some characters are totally illegible. 

When, at last, one of the two sisters shrieks with delight (the other one joining-in immediately), it brings back the lads who think that there is murder going on there and rush "at the ready" to save the "damselles" (so-to-speak).

The five are soaked and dripping all over but, even if tentative explanations are not fully understood on both sides, all will remember their parting: a warm exchange of wet farewells, loaded with goodwill, among a bunch of placid tombstones, in a forgotten corner of Ireland.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Summer

MY SUMMER 2015 Marie Guillot
An ordinary summer morning in East Cork, Ireland

Spontaneous awakening, no alarm clock.
Stretching arms and legs in opposite directions for a few minutes.
Getting downstairs, after putting on slacks and shirt, possibly a jacket too.
Preparing breakfast on a tray, with real coffee, bread and jam.

Stepping outside, in a grassy corner of the backyard.
Getting warmed up by the morning sun, or else sheltering in the wood shed.
Sitting on the garden chair, with appropriate cushions, tray on the table.
Settling for that first (and best) meal of a summer day.

Welcoming Picnic, the tabby cat, alerted by the kitchen business.
Welcoming also Pioupiou, the tame jackdaw, expecting her first brioche bite.
Finally, welcoming Couscous, the elderly black cat, slow but still watchful 
as she spits at her younger sister by way of greeting her.

The feast may start.
Each of the four females is doing her share in this micro-family happening.
Did I write above "An ordinary summer morning…"?
Sorry, my mistake!
It should read "An ideal summer morning..."

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Child's Play

© Madelaine Nerson Mac Namara, 2015, 

Summer days
we explored eyelashes territory
blinked butterflies
tickled the sun
with peacocks' tails.

Newly hatched dragonflies
we flitted angular trajectories
hunting for the rainbow's cocoon
consoled ourselves combing
the feathers on its wings.

As if even holidays needed
taking a break from.
As if the world was ready
and happy to play
our games by our rules.

We'd make it disappear
and re-appear at will.
But in the end always
we opened our eyes for good
at least till we slept or woke on a grey day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


By Aidan O'Shea.      ©2015

In the later days of August brambles are on the march.
They have climbed unseen through flowering shrubs
Grasping their way with backwards pointing spines
Until canes appear and arch towards the south.

Cane tips touch the ground, rootlets nudge the soil
And next spring's growth is asexually established.
By the way, the bramble being a rose, surnamed Rosaceae
Can also entertain sexual thoughts of flower and fruit.

This it coyly does every second season of bees and birds
Who dip for pollen or peck the soft blackberry
Close cousin of the cherry, almond and the pear
It calls us to forage in September country lanes.

Let's gather up our stock of empty jars and lids
Five plastic tubs to store the jammy harvest.
Wear Jeans and long sleeved shirts and rubber gloves
And don't forget the flask, the milk and sandwiches.