I looked down at your face

I looked down at your face,
a camellia in the dark,
Dare I touch it for the first
time, with these hands?
Will it leave a mark?
Can we know the safest hour?
You were as pale and silent
as the flower.
Should we dig by the moon,
who will hear the scream
like a mandrake as we die
together for the first time?

 

Julian O’Dea

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Women’s declining happiness

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/18/womens-rights-happiness-wellbeing-gender-gap

This article considers every possibility except the obvious one, that traditional roles make women happier.

My wife several years ago at a wedding

kodincoat

sorrows forgotten

Billowing red roses like bursting
hearts on stakes, lined the garden,
as many as the sorrows forgotten 
by those walking by; for nothing 
remains that is not in cultivation.

Julian O’Dea

Saying

It is good to be a woman. It is better to be a man.

The Assumption of St Francis

The Assumption of St Francis

Seven hundred species of birds,
well preached at, carried the saint
home to Heaven, provided the
leaven.
Cranes and eagles were the motive
power, tiny birds came from every
bower, to adorn him.
The angels thought him their own,
winged with such colour
and clamour.

 

Julian O’Dea

Redrafted version

Her level gaze was
my horizon,
her swaying hips
an earthquake
in my mind,
her floating skirts
the sea that retreats
with the tide.

Julian O’Dea