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Heart sparks



Sunday Morning

At Cill Rialaig Artists' Retreat, Co. Kerry

A roof-light of eight panes
slants over an easel, a work table
layered with paint — now art themselves —

and this bed from which I view
dreamscapes wrought, brought undone
above a hill rife with ferns.

On the radio, sacred music
such as filled the great stone palaces
of God, centuries ago.
                                      Time to pray?

I remember, in the small hours,
a spill of arcane patterns
on the glass — heart-sparks

treasuries of hallowed grief,
of yet-to-be-lived hope,
sequestered in the infinite.

Then, outside in the black summer air
a full, paradisal glimpse,
real and beyond imagining:

the abundance of the mustard tree,
of a million million groves of mustard trees
flowering through time.

At death I would like to become,
not the astounding, burning truth
of a star, but a star

as the naked human eye might know it —
a mustard-seed pinpoint of light
implanted in fabled depths…

Across the window-frieze,
liquid shadows cast from the eastern eaves
as jackdaws tumble and dance

though their private, public lives.
A raven, lifting from a fence post
leaves it trembling.

Now that the great world is falling
away from us, where will any of us,
all of us, be left standing?

May the best of what we were, and are
to each other, and to this earth
deliver us — somehow, o stars —

from the armouries of vicious harm:
the innocent ever more vulnerable,
and so many — beyond counting —

bereft, cut loose.
Of their journeys of flight,
their lives in storm-thrashed shelters,

later, stories will be told —
treasuries of grief and hope;
new images — heart-sparks — will take shape.

The sky draws our vision
with its solitary fractured icons,
its swirling maps — all set against

the blackness of hidden light.
It seems, anything, now, is possible.
May each star be a guiding prayer.



Zen Morning

I pace the drive, back and forth,
breathing myself into the day.
On high-summer blue,
a halved moon that was, a week ago,
a blue moon, an eclipsing blood moon
held in millions of eyes.

Along a stave of powerlines,
convocations of magpies, starlings;
a lone honeyeater balances,
is still, looks near and far —
manifests, moment by moment,
its intelligence, its freedom.

Beside the gate, a white stone horse
the size of a year-old child.
Life-like and mythic, it lies
folded around its own stillness, earthed.
I bend towards the mustard-gold moss
speckling its body, imprimatur of birdlime.

My jade tree, all the leaves and flowers
of this garden — butterfly bush,
jasmine, myrtus luma — flourish,
each presence nurtures further life.
I flow with the blessed air.
The whole garden breathes through me.

'Do not cling,' says Thich Nhat Hanh.
For this sweet hour, I know only
the peace and fragrance of this place.
With assured power, with anchoring cries,
black cockatoos, at great height, head toward
cypresses by the bay, where they'll gather, feed.



Diane FaheyDiane Fahey's thirteenth poetry collection is November Journal. Her poetry awards include the Newcastle Poetry Prize, the Wesley Michel Wright Award, and the ACT Judith Wright Poetry Prize. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from UWS.

Topic tags: Diane Fahey, poetry



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Existing comments

Thank you for sharing this reflective, beautiful prayerful poetry

Margaret lamb | 10 March 2020  

Wow! This made me sit up. It lingers. Thanks, Diane.

Edward Fido | 13 March 2020  

A gift for words intensely felt and steeped in nature's wonders. Thanks, Diane.

John RD | 13 March 2020  

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