Published in Issue 18 of Visionary Tongue, 2003.
There are no majestic feathers,
no glistening primaries of priestly black,
no rust coloured shafts dyed with blood dried dark with age,
no downy pristine white with crispy edges.
If there are even stumps I have not seen them.
There is a shadow, though, a ghost of a memory
that follows her like smoke, reminding me that even when
inadequately modified by a word like “fallen”
she is still an angel.
They’ll tell you there is magic in the world,
speaking in drug haze, singing pretty rhymes.
I have travelled far, and journeyed wide,
they lie to us; there is no magic left.
I have been on well-trimmed golf-courses
in the moonlight, where the rabbits gather in
large groups and dance around the greens,
hopping in time to some unknown tune
with complex rhythms and harmonies.
I have been to the high desert when the
earth is packed and dry, and watched the
rain beat down with such fury that the sand
and dirt flies into the air, glittering in the sky
like fairy-dust as the rain pelts through it.
I have seen a fox in broad daylight.
It disappeared when I blinked at it.
I have seen a strange glowing in the woods
in the starlight, and never found its source.
I have found wide rings of mushrooms.
I have seen lightning flash from cloud
to cloud across the sky, and roll in balls
of blue and green across the hillside,
leaving trails of blackness in their wake,
and tales of stranger things behind them.
They tell me there is magic in the world–
the shamans and priests, the poets and singers–
but I ask you, if there’s magic in the world,
then why have I not seen it?
Waking To The Moon
It is summer again, this is all I know,
from the taste of the air, and the weight
of the warmth on my flesh, the breeze
which whisks fragrantly across my face, no
longer felt by my wrinkled skin.
The moon is above me, and I see
the crimson maples, reaching their
burdened arms up to her with offerings
She is as I am, wan and pale, cratered
and pocked, dry and cool. Distant, yet filled
with a cyclical promise of power.
Unlike that poor moon, wasting to a sliver
of herself, I am about to wander again
in the world, to become full and bright.
In the blossoming of a new era, I will
swell, feasting on the glory of the age.
Desire rushes through my dilated veins,
I had almost slept too long, I would have
needed to wait for prey to come to me,
I will move into the world, and like
the moon in the daylight will hide myself
in plain view, my splendour masked
by its own substance–
no one will notice that I reflect
the glory of those around me, or
reflect in glass not at all, that
my brightness is stolen. I will
become young again, live my cycle again,
cradle the source of life
once more on my tongue
and when my time is over, as it has
been so many times before,
I will offer myself to the moon, to ride
again the currents ebbing, waiting
for the moon to call me back.
Having risen, I begin to walk,
wondering at the world around me
waiting for someone to help
this poor, bedraggled old woman,
and give birth to a goddess,
an angel, a vixen of the night.
For someone whose time is measured
in eons, I know I won’t have long
© Erin Donahoe
Erin Donahoe sleeps above the river of the falling banks, with a prince and at least one of a trio of hand-fed tigers. She prefers evenings to mornings, whiskey to wine coolers, and being kissed-to-sleep to being kissed awake. She has published over fifty poems in magazines both online and off, has authored two poetry-chapbooks, and has recently edited a collection of poems and art by various creators, titled The Modern Art Cave, which is available here.