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ghost queen Jan 6
there is hope
like a rising sun
on a distance horizon
lighting up the morning sky
pushing the darkness aside
melting the clouds away

the rays warm my face
coaxing a smile
squinting my eyes
i take a breath, savoring being alive

the sky is blueing deeper, clearer
morning haze is lifting, disappearing
life is awakening, stirring, moving
the beauty is overwhelming, awe inspiring

i see anew, with an indigo eye
things i’d sensed but never knew
i feel too deep, intuit too much
beheld as a curse, repressed, suppressed

i burned, screamed, fell into ashes
my soul lay fallow, quiet, healing, waiting
resurrecting from cold dark depths
heart beating, eyes opening, arms reaching

vindication from self doubt
forgive me Cassandra, Cairn, Mother
i weep, openly, proudly, for your grace
it is the 9th and final gift
indigo flower photos
Marigolds Fever  Sep 2018
Marigolds Fever Sep 2018
Stone cairn
Not too moderne
Sedimentary rock
Years of process
Around the clock
Sunlight, wind, cold
Bringing colored layers of bold
Stones that provide heat
On a dreary day where you set your feet
Shelter and protection
Beauty in its collection
Double meanings surround
These stones that are abound
Appealing rock garden
A visionary cycle of carbon
On a planet that is well known
Of abundant natural stone
Ishmael Jul 20
"And the day of his birth shall carry with it all the joy of a barren field in spring, all the glory of a lowing ox as it dies,
and all the beauty of the midden heap."

Thus was it promised. His birthright was dirt on a coffin.
Thus was it spoken. His inheritance shall be only tragedy.
Thus was it written. His every breath will suffocate the sun.

And so it was. Only in dusk does he walk, and his domain is the cairn. Weeping martyrs and orphaned children are his chorus,
and the rushing of blood is the trumpet of his inglorious arrival.
My grandmother died two days ago. Just venting with random stuff.
Frankie Gestone Mar 2013
He woke up in a rapid sweat, darkness surrounding him, his soaked pillow was pressing up on his neck as he could feel the uncomfortable stabbing cold run right threw his whole body. His mouth was dry and his body was in great pain. He lay there practically naked, but not just physically, also emotionally. It was like a catatonic state where the person’s body is paused in reality, but the actual person is far away and isolated even from himself. He wondered why he was so comfortable being uncomfortable and remaining frozen in time.  He saw nothing but the subtle moonlight that peaked through the blinds of his window. A point of existence, he feels nothing because all he has ever felt has drowned him. His numbness was being accepted and he embraced that if he remained this way, he would never have to feel hurt or heartbreak again. It’s better this way, he confirmed.

Eventually he got up out of his bed, walked outside to a nearby empty field. He looked up at the infinite night sky and contemplated the moon, the stars, and the endless space that sustained all of its existence. A tear fell down his cheek as he remembered the beautiful wonder of life and the universe; his realization that he is just a small spec of dust compared to all that is and all that is wonderful. Whatever happened to that universal happiness he used to feel? The feelings of the unseen, the cosmos, the mysteries that remain unsolved were all love. He then felt ancient and brand new at the same time-always being around all that is, but recently born into the unknown. The silence of the night swarmed him, and he suddenly embraced all the things he could not accept. The lullaby of the wind put him to sleep.

When he awoke, it was twilight. The sky was a lighter, deep blue and the sun in the far distance was rising in a fiery halo of mixed red, orange, and yellow colors, and the early morning clouds were clear and transparent. He heard the sound of a train horn in the far distance. He followed the sound with his ears as the sound became slightly louder and louder. Then, suddenly he could see the light of the early morning train.

The train had stopped as he approached it, and he hopped on with no hesitation or looking back. This runaway train was going to take him to where he needs to be, and he blindly and faithfully accepted that his fate was out of his hands now. No more heartbreak, no more reminders of the past, and most importantly no more drowning in his tears. As the train proceeded to move forward, he could feel fresh air gently touch his face, and all that he saw and ever knew were now flashing lights disappearing into eternity.

It was hours into the late morning when the train made its first stop. He listened to the train conductor speak out over the intercom, almost incoherently, say, “This is Brightstone Park. Next stop will be Riverhead.” A nostalgic feeling suddenly came over him as he could remember that his very first kiss was in Brightstone Park with Jessica Garzi. That was not his first true love, but his very first heartbreak. Riverhead was a forbidden memory, as he knew a classmate who had committed suicide off the Riverhead Bridge. He had not returned there in five years because of his haunting memories that would always come back to remind him just how cold and frightening the world really is.

While lost in thought, he felt a rough, sand paper-like wet feeling on his forearm. He looked down and it was a black cat, but not all black. The paws were all white like socks, and the chest and stomach were snow white. The loud prominent purr was a very peculiar reminder of a cat he once owned. Her name was Midnight. She was not the friendliest cat to strangers, but she loved him, especially when he massaged her paws. This cat was practically identical to Midnight. Midnight was put down three years ago though. As he began petting the cat’s back, it ran away and jumped off the moving train. He looked out in a hurry, but it was gone. It was just like everything else he loved. There for one moment, then gone the next. The strange thought that has one wondering if anything had actually existed that is now no more. A person, or a thing, could mean everything to you, but once they slip away, they become like the wind: occasionally brushing up against you, but never revealing its form.

On the train he began to wonder how he got where he was, and in general how the smallest decisions he made lead to bigger events and all in all, everything was all connected. There are no isolated events, or isolated people- it is all proven fact and science. Everything depends on each other to survive. The trees depend on the sun to keep themselves alive; we give off carbon dioxide to the trees and in return, we receive the oxygen we need from the leaves of the trees. He thought about the potential of a seed-for example, a tomato seed. Within that tiny seed is unlimited potential of life: The seed may produce one plant of several tomatoes, and within all those tomatoes are countless other seeds. This is all from one seed. Then, one may take a couple of seeds from a picked tomato and plant them throughout the yard creating a garden. That original seed came from another tomato seed inside a tomato on a plant, and that seed came from another seed. When did this cycle of reproduction begin and when does it end? Is it just another form of the infinite? When a person eats a tomato from that original seed, he receives certain essential vitamins his body needs for surviving and sustaining good health. This good health will effect his offspring and so on and so on. When he defecates, that will all return to the earth for potential fertilizer used for other tomato seeds. This is the same when he returns to the earth again. His dust will fertilize the same world that he came from, for all things come from it just to inevitably return to it.

He continued to think about how matter is never created nor destroyed and the same for energy. Nothing ever truly dies; the form changes into something new, like how water becomes a cloud and the cloud becomes water. Though this comforted him, he noticed that a few feet away from him was a former coworker and friend, Natasha Karev. She always infatuated him and they became close friends, but he always wished it had continued and gone even further than it did. One night, only a couple of years ago, they were at a friend’s party. Both were drinking, but not so heavily. That night they bonded and got so close, that she admitted she loved him. He was never quite sure how real that “I love you” was, but it was burned inside his heart ever since. That night there were moments she would tell him how much she wanted to make love to another guy at the party, Kevin, but was afraid to approach him. She told him she desperately wanted to lose her virginity that night to somebody because she was eighteen and only getting older. This was like a sharp knife slowly penetrating into his heart. He remained speechless for quite a few minutes. Finally he decided to go up in a bedroom alone. To his surprise, she followed him up and kissed him. He felt her clothed body up and down, and she touched areas not many have touched before. She told him she wanted to have *** and that she wanted him to rob her of her virginity. He was speechless, but extremely excited. Then, abruptly, she told him she could not because everything was happening way too soon. Why couldn’t she just make up her mind? He sat frustrated in the darkness, again, all alone. After that night, they spoke and remained close, yet that night was never mentioned again. It was as if it had never happened. After about two years of an on and off friendship, they just went their own ways. There were no fights or disagreements. Life just separated them.

“You’re just a figment inside somebody’s dream. So far from reality, you are a dream within a dream within a dream.” Startled by this soft voice, he quickly turned around to see Natasha smiling at him. “Ha-ha! I knew I could scare you. Were you abused as a kid, or something?” No words could come out at that moment, but he hugged her tightly. She explained to him that she is getting off at the next stop to meet a friend. He was sure he wanted to follow her and see where life would take him. She reminisced and told him how she had been away inside her own cave for several months, but is now very happy to meet up with everyone she had lost contact with.

The next stop arrived, but he did not catch the name of the stop he was getting off. As he got off with several others, both he and Natasha met up with her friend, Valeria, who he found quite cute. She resembled Natasha a bit in that they both had ***** blonde hair and blue eyes. They walked right into a giant street fair with a crowd of people looking at the foods and desserts, the trendy clothes, cheap jewelry, and children play rides.

As he looked around, he began seeing many familiar faces. He saw Kevin, a childhood and grammar school mate there with another co-worker of his, Jenny. Jenny was a Colombian beauty in his eyes and who was a flirt and tease to him, but never actually gave him any time alone. Incidentally, he knew both of them at different times in his life and had no idea they knew of each other. Kevin stopped contacting him during high school without any arguments or disloyalties that would tear a friendship apart. Keeping his head down, he walked a few feet to discover another childhood best friend, Jack, who was with a mutual childhood friend, Melanie. Melanie was a best friend of his and also a first childhood crush who also had a crush on him. He thought it was odd because even though Melanie and Jack were also best friends, Melanie never liked Jack in a special boy/girl way. He felt a moment of heartbreak, but quickly turned away and kept walking. A little further up the road, he saw two more childhood friends, Chris and Jimmy, who as children did not get along that well and only hung out with each other in the company of him. How peculiar it was suddenly seeing them together after ten years, and as seemingly best of friends.

That was not all. Things were getting stranger and stranger. It was like all the people who had made an imprint on his life were now coming together around him. He saw his two therapists, one he had gone to as a teenager and the other as a young adult, stand next to each other selling prescription drug samples. Both stared at him with a blank face, but with a prominent smile. He could barely nod at them. Natasha directed them to a local bar. Inside the bar was huge and also had a second floor. He noticed the music playing in the background was, Nocturne In E Flat Major, Op.9 No.2, by Polish born Romantic composer, Frederic Chopin. He became fixated on the elegant eighth note, left hand arpeggios, and the sweet and peaceful fast moving seven, eleven, twenty, and twenty-two notes from the right hand. If he thought about the most beautiful song ever written and all that is wonderful in one, this was the song.

They all took a seat and began looking at people and laughing at their behavior. Everyone was wearing masks. Social masks. They observed how different people act when they are in social gatherings, and how if you carefully study their body language, it will become clear that what they are saying and trying to put out is not what is actually being expressed through the body. One young man was frantically shaking his right leg as he tried to flirt confidently with a young woman he had just recently met. His face began to turn noticeably red, in an embarrassed flush, and he was making sudden hand gestures and quick eye blinking. She, on the other hand, pretended to be interested in what he was saying; yet her eyes would often look around the room and her body was a good distance from him with her arms folded.

Then as they were all laughing, he abruptly stopped and looked ahead to see two drunken women making out two tables away from them. As his eyes focused in on them, he realized they were two of his former crushes, Claire and Veronica, who he had no idea knew of each other because in fact, they were from different time periods of his life. He began seeing former teachers and professors from each stage of his school career, laughing hysterically with one another. Some of his most inspiring teachers and professors were gathered with other teachers and professors he despised. A young, tattooed hipster woman entered the scenery with a little Cairn Terrier that had an uncanny resemblance to his recently passed dog, Petey, who was put to sleep when he was away on a vacation, unexpectedly. His sorrow began to overwhelm him for not being able to say good-bye and see him for a proper last time. Everything about the dog’s high energy, playfulness, and watchdog attitude was exactly like Petey. A tear ran and fell off his cheek from his left eye right into the hand of Natasha. He looked up at her and she said, “Your tears are my tears. For what pain you withhold, I take and share with you.” She then wiped her right eye with the hand that held his tear. Natasha’s friend began to speak slowly into his left ear in Russian. Though he could not understand a word she was saying, it sounded just like a poem based on the pattern and rhythm’s consistency. It made him feel free of melancholy, but then thought of Angela Antonaci entered his mind.

He thought that the last painful experience ended with the break up of his closest best friend ever to play a part in his life. She was his girlfriend for the last three and a half years. They had known each other for ten years before they broke up their entire relationship. She was thirteen and he was fifteen when they first met in a park. She was always all over him like a little schoolgirl and he would often get frustrated with her obsession over him, for he believed he was no big deal. She was the first person to ever make him feel special and important, and even though he would resent her likeness towards him, he could never keep his eyes off of her or stop himself from always coming to her when he felt lonely. After about seven years, he realized he was in love with her. He had always been in love with her from the first time they met eyes. His long road had always lead back to her home in life. Every time he tried forgetting her and moving on, they would meet again. That person people search their entire lives for, he had found.

He rose out of his seat and briefly said goodbye to Natasha and her friend and went upstairs. He wanted time to be alone and walk around until he suddenly saw Jessica walking towards him. He stopped and waited for her to say hello, but she walked right by him, as if he had never existed. He felt a little insulted, yet relieved as any awkwardness that would arise was avoided. Looking ahead, he saw Angela’s two best friends, Kate and Julie, with her high school crush, John. John was playing an acoustic guitar on a lounge chair, singing to the two friends, almost enticing them with his eyes and voice. His jealousy overcame him, as Angela had been infatuated with him on and off even though he had played with her feelings throughout high school and college. John would tell her he loved her and make her believe he was a romantic, then when she fell into his words, he would leave her and keep a distance for long periods of time, leaving her in despair.

The conclusion occurred to him that maybe she was nearby. He searched throughout the entire bar not finding any other clues that she was around. When he went downstairs, he saw Natasha and her friend asleep, as well as most of the bar, except for the bartender. It was like everyone just passed out from the alcohol or possibly inhaled some type of knockout drug. The bartender was watching the news forecast of a tornado watch and dangerous thunderstorms. The bartender looked at him and said, “It’s better if you stay in here. It’s dangerous out there. I recommend you don’t go out!” He just listened, but decided to leave to the outside anyway.

He walked three blocks through the heavy rain and strong winds. He took a moment to stop and look at the black and gray clouds above him. As he looked across the street, he saw her. She was with her mother, sister, and mutual friends of theirs, Chrystal and Mike. He also saw behind them, his own mother and sister. He ran across the street to her and she shockingly with excitement screamed, “Hey!!! Oh my God!! Please stay with us. I missed you so much. You have no idea. We have to get to a shelter away from this storm. Hold my hand…” Smiling, he kept walking with them. They walked for twenty minutes and entered a giant field. After ten minutes of walking restlessly through the field, they all stopped to catch their breath. Angela’s mom ordered everyone to hold one another’s hand. An enormous gust of wind pushed them all to the grassy ground. He began to shake violently as he felt the touch of death nearby. He wondered if this would be the end, as he felt unaccomplished and left with so much left unsaid to her. Thoughts raced through his mind like a speeding highway about how to get to safety. Unable to control and remain focused on one rational thought at a time, he blacked out for a minute.

Then there he was right in the middle of a storm. In so many ways, he realized where he was ending was where he originally began. All the imprints from all he ever knew came back all at once to watch him finally leave all he ever knew from this life. And in the last moments, he found himself with her. He held her hand, while she held his, and the hands of their family and friends. The world was so dark and cold. The wind became much more rapid and an enormous bright light from it came within just miles of them. He kept looking up at the dark black and gray clouds over them, never as frightened as he was now. His focus was on the great strength of the wind. Whatever melancholic thoughts he had of his life, he would not give up hope. Maybe he was just hopelessly hopeful, but holding each other tightly might, in some miraculous way, save them. Then suddenly a deep peace began to sustain his very being. He remembered whose hand he was holding- the only woman to ever understand every level of his being. He looked down at her big, precious eyes pouring out tears. Their eyes locked, as she had been watching him the entire time. No words needed to be said from one another. They knew exactly what they felt and meant. For the first time in his life, everything was all okay. All was beautiful. The whole situation was beautiful, not tragic. In that moment, he understood this was where he was meant to be. This was where he wanted to be, for only in such a life altering moment does one comprehend the very nature of love and life. To just glance into her eyes and see the same person staring back in suspense, while all he ever knew was being born, growing, and dying simultaneously in complete acceptance. They began to fade and disappeared into the light.
Until last spring walks across the barren craig,
Flowers bright gold and blue in her hair,
When the sky unmasks the waking sun,
Siúil liom

And when the rains grow weary of deluge,
Making way for the moon across the Burren
Until the waves that crest the cliffs,
Flood over Moher

And when the last cairn is reclaimed by earth,
When it embraces the stones, the last castle wall falls,
Until that day, filled with ancient song,
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat
Let's pretend I put "that" or an equivalent line before the last one to hint at the last phrase's pronunciation.
Oh come on my profile back picture is from the Ring of Kerry and my location is officially county Clare, it was only a matter of time before I wrote of Ireland.
( Memorial Monument )

Oh if only I
had an ounce

of your laughter
an iota of a smile

but you are where
all measurement falls away

and time itself
tatters and tears


memory both
blessing and curse

the ghost
of the mind.

I make you a cairn
adding word upon word.

I call your name
to make you real again

"Brian...Brian. . .Brian!"

Yet another anniversary of my little brother's death who was taken from us so early. Sadness stains everything and loneliness bites to the bone.

The best thing I can say about myself is that I am. . .

He was chopping wood and I was gathering turf when I had to remark on a little heap of stones: "Ha look at that Bud...ya would swear blind someone had built them up!" And he said: "Yeah...I did!" It looked both natural and at the same time had an arrangement ya wouldn't find in nature. Bud said: "Ya know when ya told me that there is always a little collection of stones placed in some pattern on French graves....well, when I am working I just take a stone from here and there over a period of time and let it build into whatever shape it wants to be. I call it a monument to the moment and I build them ever since Mam died. I take bits and bobs from the landscape and build them to touch the sky in their own little way to talk to somehow reach her in this little simple act. People either notice or they don't...or walk through them and I just build another  and another in time time after time.

I do this now for little brother and for my Da. But I also build a cairn of words placing one on top of another and let them find their own way and their own balance. So if you are ever passing Dempseys and see a little clump of stones stolen from the landscape to talk to the sky then ya know who they are talking to.

With such little things does one try to fight off the immense sorrow and loneliness.

Words and stones...stones and words...both are never enough...never enough


I love my brother.
It is impossible to talk about my brother in the past tense.
Brian always just "is."
He is a lovely lovely man and not even death can alter that.
My father is the most loving gentle soul I have ever known.
I could never be the man my father is but....Brian could. Brian is cut from the same measure of cloth as my Dad. He is truly his father's son.
The greatest gift a loving father can have is a loving son. Brian's mantra was always: "I am looking after my father!" He was about to take early retirement to look after his father full time.
Us Dempseys are always laughing( although you wouldn't believe it today ) old photos of the Da when he is a young man....he looks so much like Brian. It's almost impossible to tell them apart. They are like clones...peas in a pod. The same auld big head on him....the same tousle of curls and that self same shy gentle smile.
If my mother were looking through photos we would know when she got to a Brian photo because she would beam and say over and over again: " Ahhhhh's the little fellow....ahhhhh jaysus!" We used to place the Brian photo so that we would know when it would turn up and just as she got to it we would all do her "Ahhh's the little fella....ahhh jaysus!" Well the little fella grew up to be Little Bud as I was Big Bud but as he grew in stature and build he became Big Bud and I....just Bud.
If ya heard us talking it would be: "Ya ok Bud....yeah Bud....ya wanna cup of tea bud....are ya ready Bud." We would be Budding along to our heart's content.
My little nephew who was now to become Little Brian and a great Irish speaker at 5...looked at us in disbelief and asked us why we always called each other *****? Bud apparently being the Irish for the male *****. After this piece of info was given to us we would stumble over the Bud bit but we got over it and I would address letters to Bud the Brian or Brian the Bud. It was always Bud! and always "Are ya alright...Bud?"
Like father like son they share the same mental and emotional landscape. They have the wonderful ability to love with such devotion and care...a pure strong steady love that protects you against anything the world could throw against you.
The world can do without a Donall but the world could not do without a Brian....he was the vital spark in our family...the calm hand on the tiller that would weather any storm.
His loss is immense...our grief so intense....the pain unbearable and yet... we have to bear it.
The last thing he ever said to me was...Hamlet's TO BE OR NOT TO BE. Not just the first couple of lines but the whole soliloquy!
When he came over to me in the London of the early 90's he was confronted with me struggling with Hamlet struggling with his fictional fate.
He asked me what the speech meant and of course I explained it for an hour. He had the ability to soak up by some emotional osmosis the knowledge of whatever discipline he encountered.
He was telling me that at work they were debating some electrical technicality that was beyond my ken to even understand and they asked his opinion and he slowly and in his best deadpan said...the whole of to be or not to be!
The other thing that he picked up from my student days was Eliot's THE WASTELAND. He had come over looking for work but London was no better and after two months he returned to Ireland. Things were still no better and when I asked him in April how were things...he answered in best Eliot and in Eliot's vicar-ish voice:
"April is the cruelest month ...for electricians...breeding despair out of there being no work!"
He could always turn his hand to something...whether it was handymanning about the home or pilfering literary gems for his own use.
The best thing I can say about myself is that I am Brian Dempsey's brother. I hope to become more like him.
Brian is and will never cease to be a lovely lovely man.
A gentleman and a gentle man.
I love him
Not even death can alter that.
Of chancellery
Egyptian charm
Rosetta stone
Within his arms
He never thought
He'd do her harm
He kept her safe
His special cairn.

Upon his altar she was set
Phylactery, his amulet
Tears of gratitude he wept
For such a prize
As what he kept

But though she had
The center stage
All the time
She fumed with rage
He was a fool
She was a sage
So he kept her
In a cage.

Then one day
Whilst fool was sleeping
At her feet while
She was weeping
She spied a weapon
He was keeping
He had sowed...
... now he was reaping!

A candlestick
Of leaded weight
She reached out
Of the cage's gate
Though she was
In prisoner's state
She knocked it off
And sealed his fate!

This was not wisdom
To break his bone.
For she was then
Quite well alone
Yes... she'd put him
In his tomb
But, caged, she had then

Sealed her own
Be careful what you make an idol...

Sorry I haven't been around. I don't write poetry so much anymore. I'm working as an artist now. Thanks for understanding.

— The End —