Closing in on the “Saints” days celebration of mid March always brings me to the pondering of the American practice of everyone becoming “Irish”, and then reminiscing on a long ago dream of a gift given me by a bardic prince: one single gloriously illuminated page of song lyric out of which the sounds of beauty spilled. In honor of that historic tradition I’m sharing this poem…spoken by Clio to Calliope as they await Euterpe’s arrival and delivery of this poet’s Odes to all three.
They are no strangers to loss
this family of blood kin.
Their skin has become white,
scoured pale by relentless waves
of centuries of time and repetition,
unending patterns of deceit, secrets, betrayals
exposed by a parching sun
bleached and frayed
until they could no longer hold fast as
their mooring lines of vivid rainbow colors,
woven from fibers of community
and reverberating with rhythmic tones of tension and release,
celebration and mourning,
let go their last tendrils
launching them weightless
into the free floating space of separation.
Spun ’round by eddies and spirals of unseen undercurrents
they set their sights on sandy shores, muddied embankments, even passing driftwood
for any possibility of re – berth
but contact was always short lived
and too often accompanied by furtive forays of their own mirrored shadows
penetrating hidden hulls with silent seepage
washing away last vestiges of paint and color and treasures
until they have become as thin and empty as the blank rice paper
tossed away by the same artist who left them not even a sumi brush
with which to create a new heart for the family of man.