Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Two Words"

have the same letters.
10 May, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

" Sacred Hoop"

I watch her
 She sits,
fully concentrated- 
with her 
Eye on the Needle
Her stitches are tiny and varied-
precise, and incredibly neat.

I touch the worn wooden Hoop
 a Sacred Circle, in Her hands
The muslin fabric-
  a rough cloth,
will become softer, with Her working
Much the same, as Her hands,
have done with me.

I examine the different coloured threads
 carefully wrapped,
around  pieces of discarded paper
She loves bright colours
 I see their reflection
in the Eye of the Needle-
in Her intelligent eyes.

She knows how to make use of things
  Learned through Hard Times
She does not boast -
 Her way is one of Quiet Knowing
She never wastes words
So much counts, in the Doing.

I am Happy, as I sit near Her
Watching Her fingers, guiding the needle,
Skillfully, through the fabric
 Eyes Steady
Not unlike her Heart-Always Steady
As the Eye
of the Needle. 
Soon a Pattern will emerge
One She has worked, with Patience and Care
One day, I will Understand
She did Her Best to Prepare me
For a much larger Canvas; a Life-Tapestry
 Guiding, Teaching, and Loving
With Her Eye, upon the Needle. 

~Alicia O'Hara 
c. 26 June, 2013

31 May, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

" The Red Bird Sings"

~ No sun outlasts the sunset
           But will rise again
                                    And bring the Dawn

 ~ Maya Angelou 

The day is lovely, I climb the hill ...

A grave marker gleaming in the afternoon sun
Your name, oh so familiar and true
I reach  for the top of the stone, to steady myself, and you are there
I trace the letters with my heart and hand
 Realising, you live on in each heart that loves you -
And the red bird sings.

Your life; so much more than mere words chiseled in stone...

The view, one  so reminiscent of you
Age-olde trees, settled in a peaceful ravine
Teaming with the glories of Nature; each one, you held so dear
Yours  is a special room in a safe corner of my Heart
Never to forget you -
 And the red bird sings.

As I ascend the hill, it seems a difficult climb...

 I remember how often you walked 
When little oxygen was given you
 Your body incredibly stressed
Yet, you were determined to give each step your absolute best
I will give you no less -
 And the red bird sings.

Your  husband, now buried next to you...

Following you, nine months later
To the Great Unknown;

I guess it is the way it was meant to be
Perhaps those were his wishes, as to be with you
You never liked being away from each other -
And the red bird sings.

I bring nothing in my hands...

Yet, my Heart is full
So many thoughts and emotions
Now, seeping through porous grief
A grief that we often bore, together

We were always a part of each other's healing -
And the red bird sings.

  I turn to make my descent ...

I see you clearly in the afternoon sun
You are happy; I sense the joy in your smile
Your hand steady upon my shoulder
As you point me to my family;
Our family-
And the red bird sings.

  ~ For your love and prayers, always... Thank You!
 The red bird sings.

Alicia O'Hara
c. 31 May, 2014

~ Beannaichte'
16 May, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Confiteor: A Country Song"

EveningRed sky.  Standing at the door.
I sense a shadow presence here:
the one who loved this land before.

Those harmless hills bear scars of war.
Someone stood here, full of fear.
This is not a metaphor.

Above me, turkey vultures soar;
below the garden, seven deer
Someone loved this land before.

loved it as I do, maybe more
She did not simply disappear
and she is not a metaphor.

This was some woman's home before
pale soldiers came to clear
a land that someone loved before.

What to do with facts like this?  I ignore
them?  Hope they disappear?
Someone loved this land before.
None of this is metaphor.

~ Patricia Monaghan
U.S.A./ Ireland  

~ Beannaichte'
11 May, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

"if' i"

i  looked through your eyes,
would  i see the Hunter's Moon; in awe of its beauty and mystery
would the Stars hold a Mystery; my eyes fixed to the Sky
would the Sun burn with the Fire of Ten -Thousand Suns
would my face be washed Clean with Tears, because of this Beauty
would Smile from a place, deep Inside-
 Knowing, i  have Touched the Sacred Mystery, "if".

"if" i  looked through your eyes
would i walk the Path; Moonlight Guiding each footfall
would the Stars be  the truest of Diamonds 
would the Sun impart Healing, with Eternal Light
would i Touch my Tears and not be ashamed
would i Smile  from a  place, that runs Deeper than Rivers-
 wouldKnow, i have Shared the Sacred Mystery, "if"...

"if" i continued to look through your eyes
would  Sway with tall prairie Grasses, that Dance in the Wind
would  i  continue to Stand Tall; akin to the mighty Oak
would i be equally Graceful, as the Weeping Willow
would my Voice resonate with the Gentleness of the Cottonwood
would Smile in the Sunlight, shimmering through Myriad of Treetops-
would  i   Know, i am a  Part of the Sacred Mystery,"if"...

"if"  while looking through your eyes
would i  realise, all Life is Precious
would i be True to the Wisdom of my Ancestors
would i Trace their Footprints, imprinted on the Land
would i  see the Signature of God, everywhere
would i endure Struggle to know Freedom-
would  i  Know  that  Creation is Borne  of Sacred Mystery,"if"...

"if" after Journeying with you
wouldKnow  that i  must Look through my eyes
would  i  be Faithful and Cherish  my Vision 
would Accept my Woundedness;
 Knowing, this is the Way of  Redemption
would  i  be Willing to Sacrifice Pleasure for Freedom; from self
would Know  that Life is a Gift; and Not a given-
would i then, Know;
 Sacred Mystery is Absolute-
 Never Guided,  by a "would",  an "if"- or an "i".

Alicia O'Hara
c. 20 October, 2013 

~ Beannaichte'
5 May, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


              ...Countless people have been devastated for reasons that cannot be explained or justified in Spiritual terms.  To do as you are doing in asking If there were a God, why would he let my little girl have to have possibly life-threatening surgery?-understandable as that question is-creates a false hierarchy of the blesses and the damned.  To use are individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true Compassion.  It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason.  It fails to acknowledge that the other half of Rising-the very half that makes Rising necessary-is having first been nailed to a Cross.
              That's where you were the other night when you wrote to me, dear woman. Pinned in a place by your Suffering.  I woke up at 3a.m. because I could feel you Pinned there so acutely that I-a stranger-felt Pinned too.  So I got up and wrote to you.  My e-mail was a paltry little e-mail probably not too different from the zillions of other paltry little e-mails you received from others, but I know without knowing you that those e-mails from people who had nothing to give you but their kind words, along with all the Prayers people were praying for you, together formed a tiny raft that could just barely hold your weight as you floated through those terrible hours while you awaited your daughter's fate.
              If I believed in God, I'd see evidence of his existence in that.  In your darkest hour you were held afloat by the human Love that was given you when you most needed it. That would have been true regardless of the outcome of Emma's surgery.  It would have been the Grace that carried you through even if things had not gone as well as they did, much as we hate to ponder that.
              Your question to me is about God, but boiled down to the essentials. It's not so different than most questions people ask me to answer.  It says: This failed me and I want to do better next time. My answer will not be so different either: To do better you're going to have to try. Perhaps the good that can come from this terrifying experience is a more complex understanding of what God means to you so the next time you need Spiritual solace you'll have something sturdier to lean on than that rickety I'll-believe-he-exists-only-if-he-gives-me-what-I-want fence.  What you have learned as you sat with Emma in the intensive care unit is that your idea of God as a possibly nonexistent Spirit man who may not hear your prayers and may not swoop in to save your ass when the going gets rough is a losing prospect.
              So it's up to you to create a better one.  A bigger one.  Which is really, almost always, something smaller.
              What if you allowed your God to exist in the Simple words of Compassion others offer to you?  What if Faith is the way it feels to lay your hands on your daughter's Sacred body?  What if the greatest Beauty of the day is the shaft of Sunlight through your window?  What if the worst thing happened and you Rose anyway?  What if you Trusted in the human scale?  What if you Listened harder to the story of the man on the Cross who found a Way to endure his Suffering than to the one about the impossible magic of the Messiah?  Would you see the Miracle in that? 

~Cheryl Strayed

 18 April, 2017