For a Beloved Colleague

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Killarney National Park, Páirc Náisiúnta Chill Airne

Hy-Brasil / by Kathleen McCoy

in memory of Carole Dunson Moreau

A big-hearted brainy broad born
to be a teacher went to bed last night
and never rose again, yet the sun
dares shine without her. Chocolate

turns to sand, to salt, to silt and still
the earth is green. Hands must
stroke the open wound to know
what’s real–how Venus burns

brightly because sulphuric acid
reflects the rays of sun. How the isle
of Hy-Brasil knits an Aran mist
whose molecules have passed through

St. Brendan and Molly Brown alike.
How it disappears after five hundred years,
unuttered word at tongue’s moist tip, then
rises from the sea, transmogrified

in fog and crystal skies. In dreams she still
wears streaks of summer in her hair,
inscribes notes of succor with a purple pen
her smile wide as the ocean between us.

 

Mama’s Proverbs

IMG_1487in memory of Eva Leah Robinson McCoy

Bite into the apple of love, enjoy its juice
and let the seeds fall all around you.

~
Lips and hands must measure
before they dispense their wares.

~
Set an extra plate for an unexpected guest—
someday it could be you.

~
What you most despise in your sister’s eyes
is what your own reflection reveals.

~
Darkness and rain
bring birdsong.

~
A stately house shrinks beside the simple one
whose walls vibrate with laughter.

~
To stand your tallest,
plant your feet on rock.

~
No one can schedule a natural birth
and it isn’t over when the cries begin.

~
Ask for your desire and when you receive it
offer it up again.

~
When the sun shines, focus its light in your body
and when the rains pour down, the rocks will gleam before you.

~
Take the hands of children for they fix their eyes on you
and when you grow weak they will scoop you into their arms.

~
The race goes to the horse
who runs for utter joy.

Kathleen McCoy