Demeter’s Grief for Persephone, This Is Not a War Poem and Meteorology by Attracta Fahy as part of BB’s Irish Lyrical Poetry Series.

Demeter’s Grief for Persephone.
It was easy at first, you all to myself,
nippling my breast, symbiotic song
rocking our bodies,
as you piped your way into yours.
We, the ancient saga, set in stone,
a genesis, life to each other,
our bond the imprint of mother.
I fell into magic, watching your eyes
light up at everything new, barefoot,
blond curls dancing in wind, your feet
skimmed like little egrets,
as if on some small craft dipping
in water, you steering over soft grass.
You were the ocean, blue air of sky,
the clay and the day.
You, a young salmon veering treacherous
currents, a fox, hawthorn, gentian hills,
your eyes on stars, scattered seeds
of everything, I was your medicine.
I didn’t mind the responsibility, school runs,
homework, all that washing, soaking
the dream, pick ups, and games. Zeus
in sky, always the sun. You were Spring,
and I didn’t notice you becoming yourself.
I knew dangers, tried to protect, constantly
checking Instagram to know you were safe.
The shock when you innocently
swallowed temptation.
Pluto with no mercy took you down.
Nobody told me what it would look like
without you, the chaos and laughter,
which echoed our home, became silence.
Warmth went cold, solitude set in.
I grieve for robin, its red breast, for trees,
lilac crocus, long for your smile,
my snowdrop.

This Is Not a War Poem
Something keeps pulling me inwards, 
longing knocks at my door again,
I resist, my back aches to stay straight
in the world.
Words like a muffled song chant in my head,
in a foreign tongue 
I sing.
The swallows have flown south
and war left the fields
women no longer kiss lovers
on a station platform.
Fathers have stopped writing letters,
no praise for backpacks, rifles
hanging from shoulders.
Truth is reduced to an underground
grid of opinion,
tunnels of lies meander
into one swallowing sewer.
God is dead and 
the hymn goes on, 
it quickens my breath
hearts craving
the love left on disused railway tracks
where children knew heroes. 
A ribbon of white water
reflects a ray of light
and I look up
to say thank you. 


You watched light break through cloud.
Past noon, dusk loomed for us.
No longer concerned for sight
you stared to the light, its rays radiated
dark lines under your eyes,
emitted warmth you no longer felt in this world.
Auric colours swirled, pink, gold, shimmering
grey, drawing a life where you said
you belonged.
White seagulls with pink feet
hovered over layers of rock tiered
in thin sheets of shale.
Great black-backed gulls patrolled the coast.
Hardened sand, silt and mud stretched
the vast barren scape, limestone burren.
We don’t know if you looked back, down
into the valley you were leaving behind,
you had already said your goodbyes.
Stiff-winged fulmars flapped over the lighthouse.
A shoal of fish swam under water,
salmon, trout, and bream halted in current.
A seanós song in the north breeze,
spirits prepared for a sky burial.
In the city you’d left, a murder of crows
rose into the air. Their loud caws screeched
in our ears, animals on the road where
you lived cowered in corners.
On the same bus, tourists lapped up beauty,
your breath held on every inhale, released
when the wind whispered your name,
your body’s heavy cross no longer
carried weight.
Waves crashed against the shore.
Wild foam, silver and white splashed
up into the air,
and the sun broke through the clouds .

Attracta Fahy lives in Co.Galway, works as a Psychotherapist, and is a single mother to three children. She completed her MA in Writing NUIG ‘17. She was October winner in Irish Times; New Irish Writing 2019, Pushcart, and Best of Web nominee, shortlisted for Over The Edge 2018 New Writer, Allingham Poetry both 2019 &’20, and published in several journals at home and abroad. Attracta was a featured reader at Over The Edge Reading in Galway City Library, Cultivating Voices, and read with poet Paul Muldoon and Adrian Rice at The Poetry Salon with the Irish American Society of New Mexico. Fly on the Wall Poetry published her best selling debut chapbook collection Dinner in the Fields, in March’20. She was recently one of ten emerging poets chosen for the first-ever Dedalus Press Mentoring Programme.

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