Sunday Morning, Mantraki Hotel, Agios Nickolaus.
Church bells pealing;
a call to prayer, plangent in the narrow streets.
The sinful living and their sanctified dead
convening to proclaim a capricious god.
On the stone steps
Above the roofs;
swallows curve and crest the air,
divine infidels from the southern sky,
witness givers to an enviable truth
of short life quickening
across the umber tiles.
High in the blue;
a hunting hawk,
aloof, distant, unknowable.
Song of the dark winter
A rumbling thrum of life buried deep
A thrilling song of the high starry air
A verse of love spoken in whispers
A couplet of sorrow sung to the silence
A place by the fire where the shadows are warm
A pagan night mercurial with lust
A hand to hold against the dark
A breast to kiss against the light
A pilgrim lamb on snow deep hills
A revenant God amongst the rocks
A tiny wren fierce in the brambles
A ticking clock
A stilling breath
I am a king in my wintered garden.
Air so still it begs for breath
so cold it swallows sound,
a darkling guard of ragged crows
feral in their priestly black,
ground frost chewed like grizzled bone
or winter king in twilight court.
The crows call night and night returns,
cold comfort for the song of love,
but in the yard a graceful tree
preparing for that sweet first kiss.
Short notes from a heatwave.
The furnace blast of a new forged sun
withering breathless everything in its path,
Cool colours of dusk, deeply pronounced in purple
as yellow lamps are lit
along the sandstone crest,
vast night sky a velvet throw
pickled with a billion stilling stars.
Lemons, tart from a tree below the terrace,
cut paper thin across ice crushed,
then splashed with rum
frozen in the bottle,
dark, sweet, delicious,
Laughter rising under the moon
beside a shushing sea.
Sea Music Sung By Small Boy.
No fence to fix in place for this,
so deep it takes the sleeping sun
then gives it back from a night of rest,
to move once more across the face,
while singing men blow out the lamps
and turn to watch the rising tide.
On Friday fish come spackering to the net,
as memory called, or the past unbidden,
all silver scales and coal dark eye,
to nestle cold in icy bed,
a foot away, a life away, a dream away
from salty home.
Out in the deep where Leviathans sleep,
in the dark green heart where the big waves gather,
to roar and roll and crash and boom
on the stoic flesh of duned, soft sand,
the ancient chant of wind driven sea
begins to sound like the voice of God.
The woods are full of sunken ships
an endless stark of unmade masts,
the crumple soft of dropping snow
from branch to drift to otherworld.
Flightless birds below the fog,
an ancient spirit sniffs the air
in fox mask muzzle,
raised and rimed,
feral night has spilled its bounds
to hunt and chase and wolf away,
the buttered light of summer days
while earth lies still as frozen sea
furrows standing like the waves,
forever fixed by an angry glare,
bleak in beauty, lean of love,
as a small seed rises through the dark.
Mick Corrigan has been writing for years and has been published in a range of periodicals, anthologies, magazines and on-line journals. He is in his fifties (at least he thinks they’re his fifties, they could be someone else’s), and lives in County Kildare with Trish his lifer, Molly the talking wonder dog and Ben the far too clever collie. He divides his time equally between the islands of Ireland and Crete and the vast open space in the back of his head. His first collection, “Deep Fried Unicorn”, has just been published by Rebel Poetry Ireland.