Linda Ibbotson

Beat of the Bodhran

I hear your hands.
A benediction of skin to skin,
a mantra of ancient bone
rising above celestial scars
and swan sons of Lir.

I hear your hands
beneath the solstice;
acoustics ascending
from wings of sorrow
as Tara’s breath exhales,
lifting her emerald veil,
meadowsweet and whitethorn
woven to crown the halos of pilgrims.

In the distance,
shadows awaken
and dance with eyes
that speak of legends.
Drifting,
in the half light of an eclipse
time falls like snow
on Sliabh Luachra,
cold flesh bound
in sacred stone
as Danu’s limbs
coil around the limbs
of the immortal.

I hear your hands
In the heartbeat of ravens,
echoing in the womb
of the Holy Well
and the gentle whispers
of the wind that
cradle a lament.

I imagine laughter,
binding the wounds of hero’s
turning blood into
petals of scarlet flax
as if fragility
becomes fertile.

On the street of the stone ringfort
I see streams of colour
in a blind pipers eyes.
Through each scarred hue
a solitary reed softly sings.
Behind, a damselfly
opens its wings
to catch the colour
before it too
bows its head in prayer.

I hear your hands
as they slip between Atlantic blue,
each wave knowing its birth.
In time and out of time
the restless salt breeze
flies with wild geese.
Somewhere,
in the rhythm of soft rain,
each drop remembers.

I hear your hands
in the flute song of the egret.
as Erin kneels before the ephemeral,
the sanctuary
of the known and the unknown,
her mossy gown
unfolding half forgotten myths.

I hear your hands,
a heartbeat
on an incandescent moon of skin,
a rhythm
in the wintered hands of a scythe,
in the footfall of red deer,
and in the light of the eternal.

And as I watch Celtic mists rise
above ancient stone,
I feel both a longing
and a belonging
to this land, this people, these words
that linger as a mantra,
in the warmth of solace
beneath the silent boundary
of my skin.

Linda Ibbotson is a poet, artist and photographer currently residing in Co. loobCork, Ireland. Her poetry has been published in various international journals including Levure Litteraire. Iodine, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review and Eastern World newspaper, Uzbekistan.Her review of Kinga Fabo’s bi-lingual English / Indonesian poetry book ‘Poison’ was published in a number of International Journals and she has formerly written a regular poetry feature in Musicians Together on-line music journal. Linda was invited to read at the Abroad Writers Conference, Lismore Castle, 2013. Her poem ‘A Celtic Legacy’ was performed in various venues throughout France by Irish musician and performer Davog Rynne.Linda was invited in May 2015 to be one of the 3 judges for the Rabindranath Tagore Award International in India. Her painting ‘Cascade’ was used as a CD cover ‘OUTSIDE’ by Irish musician Tony Floyd Kenna in May 2015.