Poems and Poetry

Pathways | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

As if we were merely inept travellers wandering here
we chose to move along a path
which has no clear objective,
but only earth ahead, coiling into a tangled undergrowth.

Purpose is a fickle place which slips away
while we search it out, and we lose direction,
shuffle madly as we stray around a maze
of wet days, and nights without the solace of moon or stars.

Our boots and clothes are tattered now,
fatally frayed about the edges, and we cannot see
how sky and sea become snarled, and trees retrench
when we venture forward in this stubborn spinney.

But oh, the grace of it, to stumble upon sinewy headlands
and scorched hills, to embrace this new landscape
as it fans out before us, with no swank to it,
but only heat swelter and haze and struggling whin,

barbs ready to breathe discrete designs along our skin.

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