Poems and Poetry

Marie MacSweeney

Almost | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

Almost as though
atoms
assemble always
towards wholeness
and
chaos longs
for final
shape;
almost as though
tears
bring forth
torrents of
song;
almost as though
all sense
is compacted
in fugitive
fragments
loosed from futile dreams;
almost as though
ice
might burn into fire,
desire
excite forever;
almost as though
light
shall solemnly
master
night
I speak to you.

Spa Woman | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

In steamy mists
aromatic seeds
burst upon her skin,
confetti her shoulders,
frisk her slackened thighs,
while on the shower floor,
those manicured feet
are liberally anointed
with sesame oil.

Haze lifts as she rinses away
creamy lathers before
stepping out into the opulence
of a warm white wrap.
When she vigorously
rubs all moisture
to a powdery dryness
the room shudders.

It is enough. Time now for unction,
a healing sprawl of chamomile,
arnica, horse chestnut on her chin,
her throat, her arms, her legs,
her heart and down the lax arc
of her stomach, to hips,
knees, ankles and toes.

Later, she rides off in her chariot
with her new self,
her cool blue SUV
dispensing grunge in its wake.
She is modern, all woman, in control.
She selects princes and they turn into frogs.

Visit Marie at http://mariemacsweeney.com.

Wheelwright | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

A narrow yard close to the cottage garden.
A store room, a work space, a tiny kitchen;
between wheat fields and the M1.
It is enough. The skill you practice here

salvaged from the slow, long past, lost
but for you. Nothing close by
but timber, Irish oak, wood shavings,
that smell of toil on tools.

Cork, Dublin, Belfast, your wheels abroad
in these busy places, spinning in real time
over tar macadam and cobbled pavements
while you bend your wrist to a new turn.

Literacy | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

We are thoughtful. We shoe horses
so that they leave traces
along a shimmering collage
of fractured shells.
In hard-packed sand
their footprints are comma deep.

We are helpful. We shoe horses
and their feet
etch alphabets
in looser sand,
almost literate to a depth
of three inches.

We are engrossed, infer stories
as they enter water,
seaweed shackling
their hooves,
aquatic censorship,
though we see no traces,

and when they run free,
hock-high in foamy waves,
the garrulous surge of sea
added to theirs
make sagas,
scholarly tomes.

Observing them, we long
to scribble narratives
in lost planets,
galactic clusters,
probing deep space
with the point of our pen.

Visit Marie at http://mariemacsweeney.com.

Google Earth | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

We begin our journey
from Eilean Hoan to Ullapool,
angling over these mountains
scarred by ice, billowing
across rivers which bleed
into lakes whose monsters
are more terrible
than the depths that succour them.

Curling sunlight pools
in the clumsy pleats stitched
into the tough skin of the planet,
snowy islands blot the snake black streams.

Could we see ourselves slot
into the nakedness of that place,
imagine the music made there,
storms drumming the highest points,
bird strings startling the sky?
Who listens here hears perhaps only one thing.

And so we drift downwards
to where grasses flourish,
to where sheep inherit
a tracery of pathways.
We could suck the air out of here
with one kiss, ignore cosmology,
smother weather,
wrap ourselves tightly
around each others’ lives;

or, when landscape yields
to seascape,
spilling over curved cliffs
to tormented sands,
and out into the North Atlantic
where earth is sunk in the ocean
without contour or creed,
without route or reason,
without signpost or ship;

where the force of truth
is all about us
could you and I land
on that blank island
in this sea and be ‘we’?

Out There | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

Grab any day and it is not enough.
We are unbearably alert,
afraid that there is nothing else out there,
yet hopeful as skies darken
and earth calms down enough
for us to search out what might lie hidden.

There is a slight stammer when we speak,
which we must always own,
carried casually, like spindrift,
into the warp and weft of an early morning horizon,
sluicing through a swarm of stars.

We heard The Big Bang linger
as dust settled into the shape of us,
a bit of buff and sparkle
as we warmed up,
clusters of maverick molecules
becoming question-making machines.

Was it a special sprinkling
which formed itself into longing,
that lonesome pleading with the universe
to whisper possibility along its fault lines,
cracks cackling with mystery at the edges?

This is not hubris. We do not search
for a creature who will scan
the iris of our eyes,
probe the shape of our lips for truth.
We do not need a canary-yellow caged mind
that will latch on to ours.

We need to know only that they are out there,
sweet sentient scraps in an ignorant universe,
almost like ourselves, but with the strut of magic to them,
that we are not incurably alone in the crisp after-cold,
a wayward excess of that first scorching swirl.

Vist Marie at http://mariemacsweeney.com.