‘Acceptance’ and other poems by Deirdre Gallagher

Words

The crisp dew of
words
that sing
in spring
jubilant is their ring.

The soft gentle breeze of
words
which appease,
please
Leave tickles of tease.

The blazing heat of
words
which incite,
ignite,
Defiant in their fight.

The strong gale of
words
that wail,
prevail,
Woeful is their tale.

The cold depth of
words
which pound,
astound,
Deadening in their sound.

Acceptance

 
Throat itches and scratches
raspiness of an other-worldly quality.
Lips miming the words,
their echoes silent.
 
From deep within,
the surges pulsating,
desperately attempting to blast into the atmosphere.
A concerted effort
both messenger and vessel
willing, wishing, wanting
the ripples to meet the surface.
 
Flows and ebbs of lapping dialogue,
sparkling glistening leaps of innocent, complicit laughter
lulls of serenity and quiet contemplation
all in a blink of the mind’s eye.
Each page turning as if courtesy of a fast-forward button.
Slipping, falling, fading,
thugs of resistance futile.
 
The stark realisation,
this is coldness,
this is acceptance.
 

Your resting place

 
The glistening Shannon,
a magnificent twinkling curtain
rolled out smoothly
a veil is drawn over the valley below.
 
Rosary in unison
to the grating of the clay
back and forth the swings,
gathering rhythm
only momentarily disrupted
by the exchange of hands.
A new crew lies in wait
to take up the chorus
 
The many gatherers scattered
witnesses to the careful descent
into your resting place
 
A quilt of roses adorns you,
Each petal precious and sweet
Keep warm my love.
 

Celtic Bride

 
Tumbling tresses of auburn,
slender, lithe and graceful frame
Bambi eyes – a depth of beauty
instantly recognisable.
Beaming, effortless smile
finely crafted hands which have
penned many a touching message,
prepared many a loving meal,
reached for many a tender embrace
and now act as protectrice to
your very own High King of Ireland.
 
Youth marked by boundless energy,
instant engagement, rebellious spirit, insatiable curiosity.
inquisitive student, keen linguist,
intrepid traveller,
Cuisinière de résistance –
tasting and delighting in the delectable delicacies
of this glorious multicultural world.
 
Erudite, quizzical
mindful of the lessons of our Elders,
firm and steadfast in convictions,
hopeful, driven to forge a better
Ireland for those to come.
Attuned to the voices of many,
considerate and considered in rhetoric
the consummate politician
a fusion of past, present and future.
 
Life ignites, infuses, thrills,
courageous in pursuits
standing strong, upright and resolute
climbing every mountain
with an indomitable spirit
there is something about this maiden.
 
As your wedding day approaches,
your chieftain awaits
on the mountain top –
Cnoc na Teamhrach
This particular climb sees
you ascend assuredly,
with each step to the summit,
you are brought home.
 

Proud to call you friend

 
Memories
childhood jewels
treasures in the recesses of my mind
the pounding of tennis balls on the tarmac
during the hot Summer days
Both as equally eager to smash it with a formidable forehand
the dual recorders in sync (well most of the time)
we were after all the instrumental saving grace
of each year’s Nativity play!
the dreaded own goal
You poised for a glorious save
I, oblivious, to your cries
dealt the fatal blow
I tested your patience that day –
you the model of decorum never let it show.
 
Teenage years brought a keen interest in historical pursuits
Con Air showings back to back
fabulous Super Mac extravaganzas
Infinite ripples of laughter and giggles
a reflection
bringing comfort and company
when I needed it most.
 
Never mind Tipperary
it’s a longer way to Letterkenny
such was the legal route
but boy was it worth the journey
Success, Freedom, Fun
not forgetting Cupid
Awaited
you never once looked back.
 
Eyes blue and gentle,
the small contented smile
you’ve navigated the peaks and troughs –
I can see
you’re happy with your lot.
this is your moment.
bask in the joy
feel the excitement
I’m privileged to witness the triumph
but most undoubtedly
proud to call you friend.
 

Strength is in our past

 
Do not mourn me my love
I am near you still
notice me in the Autumn leaves
strewn magnificently
lining the roadside
in your honour
 
Each leaf that falls
memories we shared
weightless, wistful
gliding to their peaceful slumber
 
My time has arrived
so has theirs
gracefully, elegantly,
swirls of multicolour
our befitting final dance,
a waltz
 
The day will come
when the leaves will fade
growing dim
flickering sweetly
prepare yourself
arm yourself
strength is in our past.
 

Magnetic

 
Snug, at ease
camaraderie complimenting
the fireside warmth
a fitting forum for festive cheer
 
random responses
friendly jibes
carefree banter
giggles galore
Verses of old time classics
and one hit wonders
giving way to ripples of merriment
savouring the delight
 
a shadowing possibility
this occasion might be our last
Reminding ourselves to make it count
holding it tight as a precious jewel –
delicate, fragile, magnetic.
 

Sorry

 

‘Sorry’

a murmur, a mutter,
falling indifferently, clumsily, irreverently from parted lips.
Sometimes a habit, a courtesy, an afterthought,
always a marker of our hard won freedom.
 
Seemingly innocuous word, a nod to our ancestors
ingrained in our bruised dialect, woven through the beaten tapestry of our history
stirring the ghosts, the troubled sod,
foremost in our legacy.
 
‘Sorry’ for suffering eight hundred years of oppression,
‘sorry’ for having our native tongue ripped out,
‘sorry’ for building another nation with our blood, wood, sweat and tears
‘sorry’ for being denied the right to toil on our own soil.
 
Let us not lament further sacrifice.

OUR ETERNAL LOVE

A soft gentle milken hand caressed our hair,
A sweet embrace pulled us close for comfort,
A listening ear let us know we mattered,
A wise word offered in times of distress,
Warmth so innate it had the touch of the divine.

A curious question to highlight your sense of devilment,
A wry smile which knew what we were up to,
A generosity which knew no bounds.
You offered your heart openly to share among us all,
We lapped it up as we did every delicious meal.

A style merchant as well as a speed merchant,
A domestic goddess as well as a hostess extraordinaire,
The aroma of fresh brown bread married with a brew of tea
Danced through the air and set the scene,
You balanced it all while raising a family of ten.

You were our sun, moon and stars,
You made sense of the world when we had lost our way,
You were our safe haven,
Our place of shelter and warmth when the journey got weary.

You took pride in us, you took delight in us.
You gave us everything,
And all you asked in return was our happiness.

We yearn to have you near to us again,
To remind you one last time how dearly we love you,
Express our gratitude and inadequacy at your selflessness.

Queen of our hearts,
No time to say goodbye.
A ray of heaven on earth, the apple of our eye,
A presence so soothing, babes fell asleep in your arms.

We knew this day would come – the eclipse loomed,
Our hearts would know this heaviness.
Our stomachs wrought with anguish.

We know you are among the chorus of angels,
We need you still to keep a watchful eye,
Let us know you can hear us.

May God cradle you in his arms just as you cradled us,
May you have peace and joy and comfort in your heavenly home,
We carry forward your presence in our hearts,
And know you will continue to guide us in this life,
Until we meet again Our Eternal Love.

Acceptance and other poems are © Deirdre Gallagher

Deirdre Gallagher is a graduate of NUI Galway. She speaks three languages and enjoys travelling. She hopes to stir, uplift and summon emotions to the surface with her words. Her work has been published in A New Ulster. She has taught in France for a period and currently teaches in Ireland. Herself and her husband reside in the beautiful Irish countryside. Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.

 

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