Maria Gornell

Irish crossing
Forgotten scrolls from Tara; float amongst drowned Irish
syllables, trapped inside bottles amongst driftwood,
seaweed tightly spun; strangling ancestors cries that
beseeches thee Patrick calling his name out into black seas
to feed the eels and snakes of miracles failed.
Thoughts bubbling to surface – pushing against a powerful force
of dreams submerged out into the wild abandon of waves
crashing with the force of mother nature’s violent fury.
Arthritic knees kneeling against cold stone,
obedient congregations whispering sounds; belly rumblings
holding the dish of coins over flowing, cough it up in black
swirls, take this drink this last supper of burdens wrung out
into the thick green foam of sea.
Scattered in the ashes of potato skin famines – as inland grows
pale in view. You trace the salt tears of rivers hoping to carry us
somewhere better – never no never
wanting to witness pride from shoulders disappear.
As you wrap these river urchins in strong, safe, love.
tiny flickers of lights like shards of glass on a black
horizon, into the Mersey you softly go.
And I have stood long searching amongst empty ports forsaken.
Wondering on the journey, haunted by those fog horns.
imagining slave ships, the cracks of whip that hold no connections
to your heart except the immigrant rivers that carried you to
‘no rooms for the Irish’ dirty grey back street slums,
gangs that got you drunk then robbed you
of half shillings, left drunken stupor in streets
that did not know your name.
The children you reared who turned their backs on roots,
the religion that saved you into categories of saints, sinners
and heathens. Its not hard to imagine what may have been
if the filthy English greed had not appeared on your horizons.
A shamrock mistaken for a four leaf clover floats on the breeze
with secrets to tell.

Maria Gornell © 2011