2 poems by Attracta Fahy

Call Up and Bring a Coffee
for Robby.

I feel the vibration of  subway tremors

through stone and wood,

its Two-beat rhythm in sync with my pulse,

words in my head,

“You can do it, you can – do it”

My heart shifts to three beat,

hear myself sing, yes-you–can, no-you–can’t.

I’m lost, afraid you’ll forget me.

I sit with my back to the park, under tree shade,

life free here, away from the world of noise, cars,

horns, people absorbed in their own world,

chasing to banks.

This large space without changing the old, leaves

room for a new image, where you’re not forgotten,

and don’t disappear in the crowd.

Here we are in difficult times, in a garden

of grace, taking what peace it offers, 

space for everyone, an inner world to reflect.

I rest on the green bench, one street from Broadway,

look across to your home, 25 Central Park West,

think of my visits, you at your desk, the window

across your room, this park, it’s view stretched

into skylight. I don’t want to leave this moment,

or you, not sure if, or when I’ll be back.

The bench shakes, under my feet a theatre,

another life, am I the only listener?

I sit back and wonder how many

parallel lives pass as I wait for your message;

Call up – and bring a coffee.

Becoming

When you drop the veil

draped over secrets, grey sky

of denial, your hidden self, you become

gentle as snow, soft, like clay after rain,

how earth seeks nothing beyond being,

trusts to arrive.

You find yourself in a new garden,

indigo dreams, alive to the bright

flowers of your intuitive self.

You are your our own woman.

Elder now, humble, strong

from the barefoot climb, walking

through fire, hard roads, dead ends.

After long nights in dark silence,

lost in deep in the well of yourself,

you find the one who has always known

why you are here.

Today you see with new eyes, the green

earth reach towards you, offering its arms.

I Wish

they would all leave me alone,

the world and everyone

who comes at me with their belief,

tell me who I am.

All I see

is their reflection, their self.

I am everything they say I am,

and more,

they are everything they say,

and less.

We are all that helicopter hovering

over the Corrib

where white gulls raise the cry.

The moon does not envy the sun,

It is only her passion 

reflecting a ceaseless longing 

to consume his fire.

Mystogan
(From the Japanese fairytale of Edolas)

I will not complain, our sun is rising.

Somewhere between here 

and coach house station, there’s a portal. 

Long stretches of bog umber towards 

horizon. Silence of furze, cotton, petite alpines, 

white anemone rise to eternal blue. 

A crescent moon, crow, and Venus.

Through grey cloud, hints of pink, orange, 

lemon sunbeams form a path,  

transform reed to spirit.

Over the land of forgottens, peat bodies slumbered 

in wisdom, a panther lily drives parallel worlds, 

earth to Edolas. Jellah prepares,

with gentle wings, rainbows of light,  

the new Sungod, Mystogan, makes his way, 

his breath a gate to sky, Edolas to earth.

I am ready. Jesus is dead, and God 

is playing hide and seek underground.

A dragon slayer with bandaged feet, winged

sandals, does not show his face, his mask silver, 

back laden with medicine magic, 

staves entranced in lacrima potions. 

He is coming, a gatekeeper, ready to guard 

what’s left.

Still, he alone will not save us, his vision–

to protect a world labouring for birth. 

Without words 

silk slips over my skin, I sink, drink of his blood.

No, he will not play the villain, we are in need 

of heroes. I bring him red, my apple cupped 

in hand, contoured, no end.

If everything could find itself in mysterious caring,

what more would we need, other than sleep,

dreams, his love.

This he says’, is the seed of the whole journey.

Being Alone Versus Finding a Man

‘What you need now is to find a man,’

my sister-in-law announces at the table 

after my father’s anniversary mass.

All eyes on my response, I laugh,

‘Sure I’m fine as I am, no one to answer to!’

‘Come on,’ she stressed, ‘you need a man, 

have you tried ‘Plenty of Fish?’

‘No, and I don’t intend to,’ I replied.

‘That’s ridiculous,’ she said.

‘I’m enjoying my time being alone, 

and I’ve even begun to write poetry.’ 

‘That’s nice,’ she emphasised, ‘but, that shouldn’t 

stop you, and sure couldn’t you always write 

poetry together?’

I smiled as she goes on telling stories 

about her friend who met someone on tinder, 

‘have you tried it’? 

Yes tinder, of course, to look for a man, 

who is hoping for sex!’, 

‘That’s not what’s it about,’ her voice now 

in professorial tone, ‘I know there are duds, 

my friend met a few, 

‘Have you been on it?’ I risked butting in, 

just to rise her,

‘Of course I haven’t,’

‘Well as a matter of fact I have,’ I said,

‘my daughter and her friends joined me up 

for the craic, she likes to frape me, chose the flicks, 

I hadn’t a clue,’ 

continuing to laugh I went on trying to deflect, 

‘twenty four hours it lasted, headwreck, 

you would need to be desperate.’

‘Did you meet anyone?’ she asked, 
‘Oh, trust me I did, fifteen and counting,
all asking the same question, 

‘What do you want in a man?’
As if they could provide it, 

went on until three am, better than theatre.

‘A brain would be a good start’ 

I responded to one, just for fun,
‘That’s me fucked,’ he replied, 

‘I’ve only cabbage between me ears’
I told him to get back to the back of the line, 

I’d contact him if I’m stuck!

‘Stop it,’ she said, ‘Your never going 

to meet anyone if your going on like that,’
‘I don’t need baggage’ I curtly shoved in,

‘and anyway, what would I be doing looking

for a man at fifty seven?’ 

She wasn’t having it,
‘Wouldn’t it be nice, your not too old,

and everyone has baggage, you just have 

to sort it, my friend has hers, and so has he, 

and they’re happy.’

I had visions of being smothered.
‘Enough,’ my sister shouted across the table, 

‘She doesn’t need to meet anyone, 

and I don’t want to hear of her meeting

another man.’

‘You’ve the wrong attitude,’ my sister in law 

shouted back, ‘tell her’ she insisted 

to my brother– he smiled. And then another 

sister-in-law decided to break her silence 

and speak, 

‘Do you think you will ever meet anyone again? ’
 

‘Sure I meet people everyday, and I’m loving it, 

I just don’t need to bring them home,’
her lips turned down like she gulped sour milk.

With her shut up the others continued across me, 

competing with noise from tv, they debated 

as my sister explained. Apparently I’m too friendly, 

wouldn’t know god from a psychopath.
My brothers kept watching football, a roar here 

and there when a goal was scored.

This thing about a man and a woman, 

as if you can’t become whole on your own,
as if one can’t be happy alone.

‘I’m here,’ I tried to intercept twice in a joke, 

nobody noticed.

About the contributor

Attracta Fahy lives in Co.Galway. She earned her MA in Writing NUIG in 2017. Her poems have been published in many magazines at home and abroad. She was the October winner in Irish Times; New Irish Writing 2019, shortlisted for Allingham Poetry Prize 2019. Her first collection will be published in March 2020.

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