Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
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The Poems of Siobhán Campbell

ae poetry1Editor’s note: Siobhán Campbell is the author of numerous pamphlets and collections of poetry, including “The Permanent Wave” (1996), “The Cold that Burns” (2000), “That Water Speaks in Tongues” (2008), “Darwin Among the Machines” (2009), and “Cross-Talk” (2009), which explores Ireland in the aftermath of its turbulent peace process. Originally from Ireland, Campbell has lectured in the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs at Kingston University in London, England.

In a hurl of rain

in a heedless fog

in winds that are indifferent

did you think of yourselves

out on the edge of Europe

as a trammeled people

or was the scored pill

of bread in the mouth enough;

comfort of tongued nights

the slant scald of climax –

ae bookand what you thought of

in counting the days to blight?

Don't bring haw into the house at night

or in any month with a red fruit in season

or when starlings bank against the light,

don't bring haw in. Don't give me reason

to think you have hidden haw about you.

Tucked in secret, may its thorn thwart you.

Plucked in blossom, powdered by your thumb,

I will smell it for the hum of haw is long,

its hold is low and lilting. If you bring

haw in, I will know you want me gone

to the fairies and their jilting. I will know

you want me buried in the deep green field   

where god knows what is rotting.

Giving the Talk
I know every stick and stone of this old road

every hollyhock and foxglove

where the flesh fly lays her eggs in devil spit;

which hedges harbour the blackthorn

and where to pick the best berries, high up

ae authorSiobhán Campbelland low down. Like us all, round here,

I know which corner the articulated lorry

jackknifed, taking a shortcut off the main road,

scattering the limbs of the two Brady children

on either side. No-one put flowers

or one of those little crosses. Slowing down

on that bend, as everyone here knows,

is treacherous.

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A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.
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