Spring

Spring comes out again
like a painting
from the attic
that we eagerly scan
– here is a patch of pink
– how lifelike the leaves
– hold it out in the light
– more light please.


Julian O’Dea

FOR THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION

FOR THE FEAST OF
THE ASSUMPTION

In Irish not simply Máire
but Muire for the Virgin Mary
like murine for a mouse
in Bethlehem the “house
of bread” bred Christ
to feed the ages then
snug as a dormouse
in a Roman glirarium
fell asleep to rise
from her Dormition.

Julian O’Dea

MINOTAUROMACHY

MINOTAUROMACHY

Ancient agonistic minotaurs
each day anew disport themselves
chimaeras of the real and fanciful
heaving and fighting and bleeding
on the hot yellow sand
dying elegantly contorted
to wake unharmed in the morning
for another day of their ancient
Mediterranean games under sherbet
clouds in timeless Moroccan blue.

Julian O’Dea

MOSAIC

I make a mosaic in my mind
from shards of memory
and remains of splintered
dreams of sun and sky
that retain their gilded hue
and rich lapis blue
and, after picking up
the pieces and putting them
into some kind of place,
an image emerges
that hovers like an angel
somewhere between
the random and ideal.
———–
Julian O’Dea

ST MONICA’S CHAPLET

ST MONICA’S CHAPLET

Rain falls like Monica’s tears
for her child, or the pitter-patter
of an innocent heart,
on the tin roof as a chaplet
of beads.
Patient, like love a given,
enduring enough to soften
a heart of stone.

Julian O’Dea

Yacht

YACHT

 

White sails in her eyes
bandages for blinding
beauty of the cyan sky
waves to toss her fish
seagulls white and grey
clouds to cool the sun
no need to read charts
when you are happy
it is all the same.

 

Julian O’Dea

Lambing Time

LAMBING TIME

In a fall of mucous and blood
comes the new lamb
to be licked by the ewe
too white for the dirty world,
startled, amazed,
staggering under mother –
her belly an intimate,
familiar sky.
Then a further shock;
other shaky legs and tails
in the fells and dells,
seeing himself multiplied,
becoming a flock.

 

Julian O’Dea

AUSTRALIAN BURROWING FROG

AUSTRALIAN BURROWING FROG

Little frog, round and jewelled
like a Fabergé egg,
sunk in the dry soil
you wait for rain,
with your waxy veil
for a desert tent,
you squat, bloated sheik,
waterlogged
in your own oasis.

 

Julian O’Dea

Australian Bushfires, January 2020

There is no treatment for these burns.

I woke up on Mars – by the yellow sky.
The smoke – remains of burned forest.
There is no treatment for these burns,
burns to the bone of country.

Australia’s gentle, stupid marsupials
have no answers, do not understand
the question; they approach men
for water and to do something for them.

The hunted, haunted eyes,
their singed, ragged fur,
and the dead they left behind,
mummified in the heat,
the kangaroo still standing
in death, as still as on a coin.

There is no treatment for these burns.

 

Julian O’Dea

Christmas, Australia

CHRISTMAS, AUSTRALIA

Our dry river no longer threads
the water-polished stones.

The glistening fish have slipped
into cracks like lost coins.

Gumleaves have burned
as frankincense to a sky
of one blue, unclouded eye.

Echidnas, buried, wait
to bloom like lumps of bronze
from an ancient hearth.

Julian O’Dea