Pieta

The stone rolled back,

filled the garden with light

more gentle than sun.

I ached to hold him.

Who had unwrapped the linen

sweet with gardenias

that had spared his eyes in the darkness?

 

The tomb held no fear for me

its white coolness had berthed him safe and calm

after torture and treachery.

I tested its texture smooth on my bare soles

soothing after the long walk out.

I laid my head where his head had lain.

I stretched to fit the length of his form,

 

put my feet in the same hollow

traced the vein of the marble

green as spring sap rising

tasted the salt of tears on my cheek

thought of the angel’s wing on my back

thirty odd years ago.

 

Written some years ago- for the season that’s in it, feels right to share.

Happy Easter !

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Avoiding the crowds

Woke up today to see golden light pouring in from the landing, to hear birds singing, and immediately jumped out of bed and got three major things done before breakfast. It’s promised by Met Eireann  that the weather will stay like this all week so I am hoping that this surge of energy and optimism will last and spur me on with a few personal goals that somehow in the wet and grey weather recently I have been holding back on.

St Patrick’s Day is in prospect though I am not a lover of parades or public celebrations. Naturally sociable in most other circumstances, I am more inclined to stay away from these manifestations. I am fairly sure that like most things this aversion harks back to the parades that take place on July 12th -‘the Twelfth’ – in Belfast, where the beat is pounded out with gusto by the Lambeg drum, and the parades that routinely impeded out holiday trips to Downings,Carrigart  and Marble Hill as we  passed through the city of Derry. Though going   under the bridges in Derry to avoid the parade made the journey more exciting, the sound of drums and band music still sounds threatening to me.

When I was a student in Paris, a lifetime ago, there were still a lot of student demos going on in the University quarter when I was trying to go to classes at the Sorbonne, and it was routine to see the CRS, or riot police, in full gear, poised to snatch potential trouble makers.  So I’ll not be going to mass gatherings in Dublin to remember, reflect or even to re-imagine  1916. Yes I am a little claustrophobic and surprised at myself.But I may stay home and snuggle up with an account of it all on television – and perhaps revisit Ireland 1916-1923 a course provided by Trinity College Dublin on http://www.futurelearn.com last year .

Whatever you’re doing – whether celebrating St Patrick by drowning the shamrock – or remembering and possibly re-imagining  our Republic – have a great time. I’ll be with you in spirit – just not on the streets.