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Thursday, 16 October 2014

More of my poetry of place

Friday, 8 November 2013

Poetry from Malta

Autumn and a Lady in Malta

There are no falling leaves here
Desert plants do not acknowledge
Autumn nor reveal the pains of

Yet, autumn it is, despite oleander
And cacti; the sunshine mocks
Those who are in mourning, those
Who do not come to these isles.

A woman sits in a darkened room,
With faded rose and pale green
Chairs, her head in black, her
Dress, black, and as the Irish

Companioni exclaimed, loudly, “I see
You are in mourning.” The black-
Laced lady is in mourning, and wears
A bishop’s ring, not noticing it

In her darkness.  Mysterious loss,
Hidden in time and memory, and
Memory she must deny, move on
As the Virgin Queen said to her

Executed lovers. No discussion, no
Tears are allowed in this hot country,
Where feelings fall like leaves in
Colder countries, but blow away

As fast, as if once seen in oranges,
Yellows and reds, now purposefully
Ignored. No country for old men
Or old women, just kind children.

The lady in lace, surrounded by
Grayness, knows now she is alone,
Like so many other women of her
Age and status. The curse of widows

Is that all seem to think that memories
Sooth, coddle, sustain, but that would
Be madness, not reality. She knows
This truth and knows she is alone with

No Ulysses desiring her after twenty years
Absence; no Orpheus willing to go into
Hades to rescue her from the fading fires.
No one but the New God, to Whom she

Turns. but when she turns, she sees
Only the painted Baroque cross.  This is her
Way now, and in the darkness, she
Acquiesces, joining with the Sorrowful

Madre.  Life was offered and she chose
Life, never death, for she knows the
Plant must die in order for new seeds
To grow; so she waits, in the land of in-

Between, like a holding area in an
Airport, she waits, like a child in
The care of a Father who allowed
His Own Beloved Son to die.

She takes her mourning memories, pressed
Like violets in the family bible, and puts
Them in her amethyst ring, symbol of
Lost power and lost tradition. She does not weep.