Poems By Marie Lynam Fitzpatrick
Days of Yore
‘Twas once upon a time in days of yore
when life in days dashed but that was before
the third millennium—much before.
When I was a child in nineteen sixty-four
and watched daybreak as birds called life-to-stir.
In fields that laughed when sun brushed stars
on webs of dew. But it was before—
for life happened like this in summers of yore.
We skipped rope and sang, “apples, peaches, pears
and plums tell me when your birthday comes”
and sunshine lit our days and I fanned air
with paper planes to cool my face.
For childrens’ days were long and time spent
skipping rope was all that smudged the sun.
Announcing the entrance to the house
the pigeon loft stands proud to face
a line of oaks. Its back is to a river,
which is crossed by a crooked bridge
where once a toll man collected dues
from carriage drivers who called.
Along the drive, a willow hides a faery keep,
and a mare shimmeys her mane as
she prances in the paddock.
In front of house an ancient tree
drops crab apples, which mulch through stones.
Behind the car park is a secret garden.
In summer it’s filled with lilac; bamboo;
and wild pink roses, and in the glass house
a vine worries the back wall.
The pear trees that grow along the bedroom
windows look onto a copse that borders
a wood. There. There used to be a hammock.
It was strung between trees where kids swung, but
that was before we paid our toll and moved on.
Let It Be
Look up, you’ll see that cliff is hard to chase.
It towers until I’m just a grain of sand
took up by wind and bashed against its face.
I’ll never reach the top and never in a gale.
But what I see depends on where I stand.
Atop a cliff the sea and sky join hands;
and what I am depends on what I’ve learned,
in humming tides that buck against each man.
Look low, you’ll see the height that we have climbed.
Look out you’ll see the sea and sky combined.
Illusion is a gift from God to man.
Delusion just a tear in man’s own plans.
Aw girl! you never knew it could be like this.
Labour that bore mum’s bliss split two souls.
A mum, and child that grew for forty weeks.
Apart they have the power of one. Two births
go on as tears and joy each mark a time
before you, a girl, anchored procreation’s line.
For contractions that started at birth
advanced as you attuned to angel’s muse.
Another stapling to embed, au natural
schemes passed down from mums who walked your route
and dreamed their dreams. They too build their bliss
around this blasted kiss. This line advised by God
commenced again with you and you’re the girl
who learned to let it be by freeing reverie.
Her cradle lies in leafy shade and sun
chants shapes on her calm face.
Her life’s alight: she’s not a care,
a wind, so soft, plays with her hair.
She dreams of lands where seraphs dare
request that peace is justly shared.
Awake, she tests out words like ‘no’
and waits to see how far they’ll go.
But mum and dad have other notions
their ‘no’ precedes her naughty motion.
But she’ll blaze ways there is no doubt,
for she just smiles when raising shouts
of ‘babe that’s dangerous please keep out.’