If, every day, I could write
But a handful of words,
Honestly and impulsively;
I would have a map
Etched and scrawled
Across the years in ink-
Black as tarmac, blue as rivers, red as blood.
A map for when I am old,
To trace back the roads I have travelled.
To give me a glimpse
Of the places I cannot revisit,
Of all these moments lost in time.
Steaming waters kiss
Dry and fragile leaves unfurl
Peace and solace blossom
Imperfect answer to a prompt: "Where do you come from?"

Once upon a time I moved back home,
After years Away-
Quite by accident, I assure you.
Now time and again,
Auld Wans will lean in to ask
"Well so, now, are ye settled?
Daughter, are ye happy here?"
The "Yes" seems to be assumed
Before the question has even landed-
Jarring and inevitable,
Like the daily Ryanair from Over the Water.
But it's not so simple-
For God forbid anything
On this sainted isle should ever be
So sinful as to be straightforward.
'Tis a miserable, wet, cauld place-
Ye'd not be long Gettin' Frostbit-
Unless Will Grigg is still on fire.
But, sure, never worry about the immersion,
Or democracy and equal rights-
Big Arlene has the boilers running anyhow.
Ach, we'll be grand,
For there has been a jar of poitín
At the back of the hall cupboard,
Since before the dinosaurs
Faked their own deaths and
Devolved to become politicians.
Now wheest and eat your sassidge rolls
And take your brown lemonade-
But mind which fleg you wipe your mouth on-
And don't forget to always say your prayers:
“Now God save us from
The Ra and the Pope-
And Blessèd Virgin protect us
From the ghost of King Billy
Hiding under our beds."
And so the Auld Wans still ask
"Daughter, are ye happy now?"
And I always say "Perhaps".
For I've enough sins under my belt
And God forbid I should err,
Betray my heritage,
And give a straight answer.
Perhaps you must have lived here for this to make any sense.
Pardon me now if,
When I speak,
My words are clumsy-
Bare and unlovely
Stumbling from my tongue.

Pardon me now if,
When I sing,
My tone is wav'ring-
Pallid notes trembling
Whisper from my throat.

Pardon me now if,
When I write,
My lines hesitate;
Letters insensate
Trip over the page.

Pardon me now as
I speak up.
My nerves are shaken-
Thirty years taken
To unearth my voice.
It may be revised when my brain is not mince.
Sleep now, my love,
And ever-dream
Of the moments we've but rarely seen-
Peace and laughter,
Hearthlight and home...
The future lives we might have known.

Hush now, my love-
Your battle's won.
This pain will pass now duty's done,
And when you wake
To kindred's call
You'll feast then, in your Fathers' Halls.

Rest now, my love.
At journey's end
I pray we'll somewhere meet again
I know not how
But if I may,
I swear to follow you someday.

Sleep now, my love,
Within my arms,
Safe now, forever, from all harm.
I'll kiss these tears
From your cold face-
Oh, bitter is this last embrace.
From a prompt. I made myself all teary eyed. Oops.
I have loved you
In wild, secret places,
In the dark, cold spaces
Where the stars burn.

I have loved you
In the quiet gloaming,
Allowing word nor kiss
To grace my lips.

I have loved you
In the roar of battle,
That each bitter moment
Would be your end.

I have loved you
Without hope or wisdom,
Of what all reason said
Could never be.

I have loved you
Breathless in the sunrise,
As you, trembling, placed
Your hand in mine.
romance angst hope sunrise introspection
In London there's a garden,
Behind a wooden gate;
I oft imagine you sitting there,
With the sunshine on your face.

The bees buzz in the jasmine-
The city seems remote
As the sun kisses the living leaves
And glints on a brass-plaqued quote.

Though for now, you've stepped away,
I feel your presence near,
Around a bend in the garden path,
A whisper- "Heaven Shall Be Here."
Two years have passed. With love and gratitude, always.

— The End —