For Clíodhna

Memories,  memories: Is it true? No.
Did any of it happen? Yes – kinda.
Who is it about?  Not sayin’.
Will she read it?  Not a chance.
Is she alive? No idea…maybe.
Did she like rum? She seduced me with it. 🙂

“For Clíodhna”


As winter yields
and April fades to May
the lengthening days
awaken cigarette smoke
and Tullamore Dew cloaked
asses’ milk memories
of the summer we shared
on Árainn Mhór:

You lying in the sun
reading the thickest books we found
yellowing in a Dungloe shop window;
Illustrated ‘Life of Brian’ scripts,
‘The Last Temptation of Christ’,
you liked them both –
and you, an atheist.

Bathing together
in a spring-water rock pool
warmed in the sun
flushed by the tide.

Not liking whiskey,
you sipped rum.
I drank too much Tullamore
as the Earth turned slowly
and seeming timeless
campfire evenings
stretched tilting –
tilting into darkness.

You lying on talc-soft
passionate sand,
beneath a parasol,
a silk scarf draped –
for decency’s sake –
casually across your thighs,
captivated me.

As I walked toward you,
you laid aside ‘The Temptation’
and I swear to God,
that in your face
I saw the face of God.

And your welcoming smile
was His smile
and your wide-open arms
were His arms
your accepting of me
was His acceptance.

It’s time to visit you again:

Leaving the Burtonport ferry
I hired a bike and rode
past Lough Shore
to the old lighthouse
where you spent long hours
painting your watercolours
and wanted to settle
but the cancer feasting on you
devoured you.

Heeding your wishes
I buried your ashes
in an amphora from Syria,
planted an asphodel
and inscribed
on a flat chalk stone,
a memorial,

“Here lies my brief miracle.”

Weathered by winters
the inscription is faded.

I sit drinking rum –
it tastes of your hugs
embraces my soul
you are near.

I will go to the seashore
to search out another
white soft-stone marker,
and on it I’ll write,

“Tread Gently – Clíodhna Dreams Here.”



© coolhermit 2018
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critique and comments welcome.

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