waitress poems

Monday, October 24, 2005


Beside an unproductive cranberry bog
he camps out for a season or two,
a defector from wars we do not know
dressed in the tatters of his own defeat.

In fall, when the boys sneak down
to the crimson marsh to smoke a joint,
he comes out of his shack, a small fire
dangling from his mouth. And sipping his
final comfort, he discourses on love.

As always, it’s about Cu Chulaind:
Did you know, he begins,
his voice a dark seduction, the chieftain
loved his wife Emer so much
he captured the brightest birds
and brought them to her room.
Until the day when beautiful Fand
poured the drink of pure forgetting

The drink of pure forgetting! Cu Chulaind
roars and weeps,
as the boys, who cannot understand--not yet,
drop their joints and run
from fervid eyes, and quaking voice,
from Fand’s inviting thighs.

Alone once more, he swallows another fated pint,
as he haunts the dysfuntional bog,
filling its murky waters with a thousand years of travel,
a thousand nights of weak lament.

How long, Cu Chulaind? he wails.
How long; how far; how deep?
How many years must he drink down,
how many countries travel
before the birds are all set free?


  • a beautiful mix of ancient and modern
    it has a timeless mythic quality but is very relevant/contemporary
    my favourite piece is the metrical musicality of
    from fervid eyes, and quaking voice,
    from Fand's inviting thighs.

    By Blogger floots, at 11:09 PM  

  • Layered storylines, dreamlike veils of uncertainly mingling times and identities, drink-muddled but threaded with the certainty of pure longing and pain. So beautiful in its sadness.

    By Blogger MB, at 8:30 AM  

  • This wonderful piece takes me down the same mysterious soul jarring trail that I travel when reading the words of Isabel Allende. I am moved with wonderment by Cu Chulaind.
    Thank you.

    By Blogger Queen Neetee, at 7:54 PM  

  • Well done :) interesting reading. I've got some poetry on my blog http://cooladd.blogspot.com/ if u have chance to have a look let me know what you think.

    By Blogger cooladd, at 1:53 AM  

  • I think I have read this poem about half a dozen times in the last three days. But its essence still eludes me.
    But, I'll keep trying.

    By Blogger sigmund fraud, at 6:24 AM  

  • A great story. You feel both the fear of the boys and the anguish of the man. Wow.

    By Blogger The Complimenting Commenter, at 10:46 AM  

  • Great how this takes you from one time to another and leaves you wanting to unravel its history, I should love to know what inspired it

    By Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson, at 1:58 AM  

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