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Showing posts from June, 2019

To My Future Self

Remember the ancestors,
how they rose from the earth and the sea,
rooted and free;
remember, you belong,
to the people of the rocky shore,
sea air,
and night stars.
Remember you can always return,
a new soul,
and wise;
remember you know who you are.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Sean Scully's Grave

You haven't lived until you've seen a field of yellow daisies growing out of Burren limestone rock.

I sit among the stone graves of saints and sinners from long ago,
flowers sprouting from rock like resurrection Sunday.
I wonder if Sean Scully had a favorite flower,
purple periwinkle, perhaps,
and I wonder if he misses lamb stew and Irish potatoes
in the great beyond.
The birds sing the original liturgy,
and I wonder if Sean pauses to admire
the yellow center, white fingers reaching,
of the daisies growing 'round his grave.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

St. Colman's Well

A white butterfly rests on the
yellow buttercups, purple Bloody Cranesbill petals,
veins seemingly painted on,
growing out of the moss-covered rock.

Dandelions turn from yellow to white
and St. Colman's well gurgles a backbeat.
A huge round bee dartles a flower
and gnats float past my eyes.

I am in a primeval forest,
intruder to organic life,
ecological Garden of Eden,
ancestral lands.

The butterfly beckons then disappears in the white blue sky, then returns and circles me sun-wise.
Tiny-fingered ferns blow in the breeze
and white milky cocoons rest gently in their leafy nests.

Gift of timelessness and buzzing bees,
babbling brook,
birdsongs,
soaring dragonflies,
warm sun on my skin.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

The Forest Calls

The forest calls to my deepest longing,
pre-verbal embodiment,
earth to core,
fairy greens and more, ever green,
eternal mist of knowing.

From cyclic sea to graying sky to massive tree to mulchy ground,
thresholds and portals and visions clear and bold,
like steam rising.
like steam rising.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Four Seasons

I am stuck in surrender and release as
I send my striving out to sea,
let the tide carry my need to be comfortable and steady,
the knowing,
the holding on when I have already lost my grasp.
To the North, moving into the beauty of the storm,
the way is steep and silky rocks threaten,
enter if you dare.
I am in a remnant of an ancestral dream,
perpetual mist,
the body knows.
The wind blows through the earth,
woody scents,
stings my face,
opens portals beyond my time-weary world.
The words shimmer, and beckon, and I follow.
Finally, the water is at my back and the fire pit is ready;
the resistance yields.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Blue Velvet

Blue sky and water ribbons, ripples, splashing,
that deliciously velvety
melodious sound we all recognize
when we hear it,
deep throaty pouring out.
Cool breeze, crisp on skin,
bitter river smell,
soaring gulls, white, overhead,
expansive sky.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Soft

A crowd in my loneliness dulls the edges, day of watercolor wash and light reflecting wine. One-two backbeat muzak and click-click of woman at work. Child chatter, smiles smooth as local honey. Warmth washes over me and I melt into my soft wooden seat. Soft taps of rain outside the open door.
© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Cafe on a Rainy Day

Drying out, Americano, hot, strong,
fresh warm bread, communal table chatter.
Bitter taste and hot on tongue, scattered salt,
sugar, cream, café whites. Rainy day, prime
time for coffee, poems, community,
hospitality haven. Warm heart home.

Disco muzak, transported back in time.
If my ancestors had stayed here, would I
have yearned to leave? Graveyard outside the door.
Is dying in place the worst place to die?

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

My Body Knew

Raindrops dot the river
and this page,
crystal orbs hanging off evergreen branches,
bleeding ink,
magical thresholds,
swans sunning in the rain.
Nature is alive in the pops of rain,
green on green,
dull thud of wet leaves underfoot,
paths to nowhere,
trill of bird songs,
puddle pools, light reflecting, recoil as each drop strikes.

Last night my body knew the rain was on her way.

The shadow side of words and rain.
Surround-sound symphony of bird-throat whistles, backbeat of steady rain.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019


St. Brigit's Garden (Sonnet)

The robin halts her hopping and stares, still,
belly protruding, surrounded by green.
Light shines and eyes soften, invisible
creatures of the air, this bucolic scene.

Woodland paths and moss-covered trees, serene.
Orange bee feasting, flower to flower,
hawthorn tree, fairy tree, green offering.
Goddess of spring, birthing, blooming power

of Earth Mother, wisdom from seed, water,
circles of life, transformation, holy
lover, fire, feminine, transgressor,
beauty, listen to the souls brought lowly.

Nourishment drawn from the moss forest floor,
grounded in whispers of those gone before.


© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019


The Mist

Don't you know you belong to the earth?
Every place the green grass grows is your communion.

Water heals, misty magical baptism,
fairy forest,
kin calling, mossy portal through time.
Ritual rounds, sunwise, and holy well.

You get what you bring.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

The Burren

How can I tell you about the limestone path,
grassy expanse of rocky hills,
cutting cold of wind and rain,
hawthorn flowers,
monastery,
holy well?

How can I tell you the prayers I gave and the blessings I took,

fragrant sweetness,
wildness,
the stone walls that lead to the sea, bluejay blue, and room for air between the stones?

It's the air that stands you tall and strong.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019



Beauty

You worry so much about the future
that the present passes you by.
Savor the singing bird, friendly chatter,
and energy of the body,
the white light of love shining on your face.

I fell and injured my wrist and I thought that was the worst thing that could happen to me.
Then there was the mass shooting and I thought that was the worst thing.
Then my dog died, and that was absolutely the worst.

Then I decided to see the beauty all around.
I wrote this poem.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019


Sabbath (Meditation on St. Benedict)

Unplug, slow down, and savor
the warm grays of Irish sky.
Substance and form.
Just as there is a rhythm in the sun's daily rising and falling,
and the moon's monthly waxing and waning,
there is comfort in the predictability of Irish mist and rain,
greening the soil,
nourishing the soul.

Hedges and stone walls,
yet in one shared cosmic space,
where my bleeding heart begins to heal.

The sudden sun illuminates the wall of ivy outside my window,
and the bird sings.

Warm chatter and clanking dishes,
a Sunday serenade.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Kairos

Rolling hills and cliffs and castles,
land of sea and green,
leprechauns, fairies, and tales of yesterday,
of how everything you once knew is gone.

Eternal moment of time.
Ireland calls us home.
Thinning the veil.
The freedom of being thousands of miles from one's self.

Lost in my thoughts as the petunias try to climb out of their bed,
expanse of ground to experience,
wildness encroaching.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Coffee and Classical Concert in a Cathedral

Coffee and classical concert in a cathedral;
I don't know how it could be more perfect:
connection with the earth and Russian iconography.

Mixture of tourists and locals,
goat herder at the next table with eyes of blue,
a feast of music.

Harpsichord playing d'Anglebert.
Three herdy-gerdys, like the troubadours of old,
to accompany Hildegard of Bingen's
Gregorian chants and the sun opening through stained-glass windows,
and singing straight from heaven,
and a permanent smile on my lips,
and thirteen more minutes of music,
La Folia, 13 variations.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

InisOirr

The harmonica sings a mournful tune as the sea goes out and the rock's blossoms sway in the breeze.
The stone stands firm against the waves;
it has taken a million years for her to yield to their power.
Tourists return with the tide,
but I linger for one more sad song.

If these seas were to open up and swallow me,
let it be known,
at this moment,
I am content.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Americans Overflowing an Irish Bar

Americans overflowing an Irish bar on InisOirr, Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" playing the background. Chicken curry lunch; differently spiced version of Irish stew.

Under a cloudy Irish sky,
I sit beneath the Irish flag,
coffee, and, now,
Celtic music in the air.
I am warm inside and out.
I savor the floor tile, mismatched wooden tables, and lilting song;
I savor the sea air and warmth on the tongue;
I savor the brogue on the ears and the smile on the lips of fellow pilgrims.

Irish pub life - always dark and warm,
soft and loud, at home among strangers,
a passing through permanence.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

In Galway on Quay Street

In Galway on Quay Street,
no tables for one,
but traveling alone is liberating.
It's a good thing I enjoy my own company.

Smile is a universal language,
not always friendly.

You can tell they cater to Americans,
always ice in the water.

Young man at next table - expatriate -
red hair and American accent -
entertaining his grandparents on their "first trip to Ireland."

Nina Simone in the background.

The freedom of being thousands of miles from one's self.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Warm Wood and Candles

Warm wood and candles flicker,
savory smells and dishes clink.
Overflowing flower baskets.
White earthenware pitcher of water on the table,
Italian wine.
American accents surround me.
Yet, I am liberated from customs and expectations.
The freeing flow of anonymity and difference.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019


Purity of the Body

The purity of the body --
unfiltered,
settles like a soft spring rain.
Her boundaries are gentle.

Green grass on rolling hills,
ivy-colored stone walls.
Grazing sheep.
Misty rain.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019



Mary Magdalene

Has anyone ever mistaken
your gold for coal?
You don't need to be seen
to sparkle.
The weeds proliferate pink blossoms
next to the train tracks. Let them bloom.
Follow the signposts and know
there is help along the way.
Plus a little trust in goodness,
and that wisdom will sort out in the end.
Truth always prevails, eventually.

Who else knows, who we don't know?
Bless the courageous misfits.

The train ends when you arrive.
Mind the gap.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

The Holy Painting Me

Prisons of the mind,
journey far to escape the shadows.
Letting go is hard work.
Move past time and space --
liminal journeys,
leaving the familiar behind.
Blue sky and green below;
foreward momentum,
the bird soars.

The holy painting me
one step at a time.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

Wet Dublin Day (Sonnet)

Wet Dublin day, cold, steam, pub comfort food.
Cork beating Limerick, rugby I think,
on the big screen. Cave dim. Young Irish dudes.
Guinness, green. Old friends. Shouts and glasses clink.

Crowdly din, cheers, bring him another drink.
If baseball, golf, soccer, rugby, football
mixed together, maybe cricket I think.
Limerick finally scores, boys standing tall.

Root for the green, it's always the right call.
Commercials, announcers, watching the talk.
Half-time chatter, replays, eye on the ball.
The. Sunday. Game. Hanging out on the block.

Heading out back under the rainy sky.
Feels like home again, this time passes by.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019

St. Ciarán‘s Well (Sonnet)

Written during my recent trip to Ireland:

The rain sucked at my boots; my coat, dartled
by rain, my body encased and embalmed
in her warmth; bee buzz in my ear startled
me and I paused to listen to the songs,

Cuckoo calls, and suns emerged and seas calmed.
Holy wells and rain baptized and sunward
walks, blessed and wish and goddess healing balm.
The skies cleared for seagull flight, soaring birds.

The Celtic legends, stories, truths, I heard
this day, of saints and gods who sailed without
a rudder, aimless, keepers of the word,
return like water lapping coastline, doubt

behind. I sent forth blessings, prayed about
my losses, letting go, soul’s recent drought.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2019