My grandmother came from Ireland
from far across the sea.
She had romantic tales to tell
to Sister and to me.
She angered my darling mother
by filling up our heads
with stories of the little folk
who lived beneath our beds.
She whispered us a secret that
our mama didn’t know.
She said that it would be better
if we would keep it so.
When she crossed the sea from Ireland,
she had a little lad.
He was already two years old
before she met Granddad.
She told Grandfather her story,
a selkie stole her heart.
He came as a handsome mortal
and fooled her from the start.
He loved her and then he left her,
was claimed back by the sea.
The only thing she had of him
was a wee lad to be.
She knew right from the start, her son
was borrowed fom the sea.
In time his tie to land would end
however long that be.
She watched him growing tall, with dread,
as handsome as his sire.
He wandered near or wandered far,
girls gathered to admire.
Before our eyes our grandma changed
and she became the girl
who long ago had loved a man
who set her heart awhirl.
He had deep eyes of darkest brown,
and unreal velvet skin.
He charmed her as no Irish lad
would know how to begin.
“Where is he then, our dear uncle?”
My sister and I cried.
“I guess the folks who knew him well,
would tell you that he died.
They saw him walking by the sea,
watching the tide come in.
Though we searched for many a day
he was not seen again.”
Now when I see the silky seals
on warm rocks in the sea
I fancy one is a selkie,
who looks a bit like me.
( I have read that male selkies are very handsome in their human form and have great seduction powers over mortal women. Poor grandma then was a young Irish lass, full of dreams and he was so handsome. In their true form they look very much like seals.)
in an old cellar mason jars
full of canned sunsets line
ripened years ago.
they have names like
sylvia's famous peach
each has a piece of paper
with a bible verse written on it.
one day a slim figured girl will
ask her grandmother to try some.
she will reach for the jar of john 15:1
" i am the true vine and my
father is the vinedresser."
snap and the lid will come off.
with a warm smile the sweetness
of a parable will be turned
into a crisp cobbler.
Being born in the postwar fifties,
after darkness and catastrophe
ascended on all Europe,
I didn't experience cruelty and horror...
but hope came from the defenders of freedom
from North America and England;
and their military supremacy crushed
Hitler's vanity and his inhumane empire!
I was given birth by a courageous mother,
who saw bombs drop on buildings,
and escaped to the countryside with a few belongings...
dragging grandmother to safety!
Fear was everywhere...people had to hide,
and liberty was a forbidden cry;
even in the Vatican City, and rumors...
if not facts, confirmed that some
were afraid to speak against this evil,
but continued to tremble,
and in doing so they let many die!
Wasn't God angry at their hypocrisy;
and if they had taken a stand against the evildoers...
wouldn't it spared many?
It's my turn to protest the evil
that destroyed the life of big and small
for their faith, religion and race;
those voices are still ignored,
but they are finally heard;
their thirst for peace and justice
will be quickly quenched!
It's my turn to heal their wounds
with sweet and consoling words of kindness,
and alleviate their fears that what happened yesterday...
must not be repeated in our history;
and wil I be able to do this without facing controversy?
It's my turn to use the written word,
to outshine everyone whose interest is greed!
Nobody more than I
was saddened by this tragedy,
so powerful and overwhelming,
to promptly modify the traits of my personality;
to be more considerate and caring,
and partake in Humankind's destiny!
An Aquarius has many
and talents, and I intend to use them wisely...
listening to their struggles
with much sympathy!
It's my turn to use the written word,
to declare war on the state of unfair things,
proceed with caution on flapping winds...
to land where I am welcomed,
and see every hand touching mine;
only when the their joy returns, I can certainly smile!
I bought my house for its mirrored walls
in the master bath from which you could fancy
yourself as a forties' film star, your flawless
body soaking in billowing suds, or stepping into
a glassed-in shower, large enough for a tryst
with Tarzan, be he resident of a nearby tree.
I imagined Don Perignon cooling in a basin,
and me: Maureen Sullivan, with or without an
Ape Man, poised for my swinging life, coupe
in hand. Instead, stumbling in half-light toward
morning ablutions on the quotidian blank page
of my life, mirrors conjured up not Hamlet's
perturbed, parental spirit, but a woman with my
mother's face. In her summer frock, frenzied
with flowers, prim white hat, and a crocheted bag
in the crook of her arm, she is standing on
the sidewalk outside my grandmother's white-
columned house in Georgia, where she sought
safe haven before a failed life, Jack Daniels
whiskey, and the cancer monster claimed her.
"So easy to spoil" it was said, so how is it life did
not work for her? -- "My beautiful, beautiful
daughter, wailed my grandmother like a banshee,
she, of the stiff, upper-lipped Prussian forbears,
as we drove forty solemn miles to lay her favorite
in Rebel heaven alongside a great-grandfather who
lost an arm at the battle of Cold Springs, his
grim-faced wife, bedrock beside him.
Peace was the prize my mother never won,
no treaty ever offered, pardon long in coming.
I see her poised like a dancer, sad history
surrounding her, a smile as unreadable as Mona
Lisa's under eyes like mine that have seen too
much of the sorrow of this world. "It all
comes down to this," Anne Sexton wrote, "We
ARE our mothers--that's the main thing."
The sun cracks to wake the day,the smell of bacon in the air
as I awake to start the day.
My grandmother in the kitchen, always with a smile,
Summer vacation was always fun,things to do,chores to be done,
grandma always made it fun
A scent, a smell, a song, a touch to bring all back
Those days are gone but in my mind grandma is still in the
kitchen with a smile.