Friday, February 24, 2017

"Death of an Irishwoman"

 in a sense
she ate monotonous food
and thought the world was flat,
and pagan, in the sense
she knew the things that moved
at night were neither dogs nor cats
but pukas and dark-faced men.
she nevertheless had fierce Pride.
But sentenced in the end
to eat thin diminishing porridge
in a stone-cold kitchen
she clenched her brittle hands
around a world she could not understand.
I loved her from the day she died.
She was a summer dance at the crossroads.
She was a card game where a nose was broken.
She was a song that nobody sings.
She was a house ransacked by soldiers.
She was a Language seldom spoken.
She was a child's purse
 full of useless things.

Michael Hartnett

~ Beannaichte'
 24 February, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

"Ballad of a Runaway Horse"

Say a Prayer
 for the Cowgirl,  her Horse Ran away
She'll Walk till she Finds him, her Darlin' her Stray
But the River's in Flood, and the Roads are Awash
And the Bridge's Break up, in the Panic of Loss.

And there's Nothing to Follow, No where to go
He's Gone Like the Summer, Gone Like the Snow
And the Crickets are Breaking her Heart with their Song
As the Day Caves in, and the Night is all Wrong.

Did she Dream,
 was it he, who went Galloping Past
And Bent down the Fern, Broke open the Grass
And Printed the Mud, with the Well-hammered Shoe
That she Nailed to his Feet,
 in the Dreams Of her Youth.

And although he goes Grazin',  a Minute Away
She Tracks him all Night, she Tracks him all Day
And she's Blind to his Presence, Except to Compare
Her Injury Here, with his Punishment There.

Then at Home on a Branch,
 on a High Stream
A Songbird Sings out, so Suddenly
And the Sun is Warm and the Soft Winds Ride
On a Willow Tree, by the Riverside.

 the World is Sweet
 and the World is Wide
He's there where the Light, and the Darkness Divide
And the Steam's comin' off him, he's Huge and he's Shy
And he Steps on the Moon, when he Paws at the Sky.

And he Comes to her Hand,
 but he's Not really Tame
He Longs to be Lost, she Longs for the Same
And he'll Bolt and he'll Plunge, through the first Open Pass
To Roll and to Feed, in the Sweet Mountain Grass.

Or he'll make a Break for the High Plateau
Where there's Nothing Above, or Nothing Below
It's Time for their Burden, the Whip and the Spur
Will she Ride with Him, or Will he Ride with Her. 

So she Binds herself, to her Galloping Steed
And he Binds himself to the Woman in Need
And there is No Space, just Left and Right
And there is No Time,
 But there is Day and Night.

Then she Leans on his Neck,
 and Whispers Low
Whither thou Goest, I will Go
And they Turn as One, and they Head for the Plain
No Need for the Whip, No Need for the Rein.

Now the Clasp of this Union,
who Fastens it Tight
Who Snaps it Asunder, the very Next Night
Some Say it's Him, some Say it's Her
Some say Love's like Smoke, Beyond all Repair.

So my Darlin',
 my Darlin', just Let it Go By
That olde Silhouette, on the Great Western Sky
And I'll Pick out a Tune, and they'll Move right Along
And they're Gone Like Smoke,
and they're Gone Like this Song.

~Say a Prayer for the Cowgirl...

~Emmylou Harris/Leonard Cohen

1 February, 2017