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Look to the Crocus

Eyelids are the final petals closing on this life.

When I die, place crocuses on my eyes—they will guide me.


I kneel down next to the crocuses, touch them gingerly as if they were puppies

with pin teeth jumping excitedly in the firth breeze.


At last the snow has left us, cleaned the earth for crocuses

luxurious as silky hair or oiled skin.


Don’t be fooled—crocuses are as wild as a fairground wheel

spinning out of control. The crocuses were coughed up out of the ground;


they are scattered around tree trunks like residue from a terrible accident.

They are purple tears hand-sewn to the earth.


We are all survivors in this life, but none more so than the crocus

embedded in the grass like a microchip gathering the history of the world.


Crocuses are submarines moving silently though green waves.

The crocuses seem to be melting among snowdrops like ice cream


with the wet look of a frog; their orange tongue-pistils barely visible.

Crocuses are satellites in the grass watching us, they know us


better than we know ourselves. Look to the crocus.

Do not stand on the purple crocus, it will remember your footprint;


like elephants—they never forget. The crocus beckons like homemade liqueur—

each one a glassful of sunlight. The crocus is a soft word in my ear;


the crocus is my best self. I carry them around in my head like a song.

I want to crawl inside of their purple armor—dwell in the honeyed saffron


filaments at their center. Thank God when the final curtain falls

it is made of crocuses.

Poetry Magazine June 2020

I Did Not Know You, Moniack Mhor

but you have always been there

in one guise or another.

I trace the range of Strathfarrar

     with my finger,

I draw the line of it in the air.


There is no sea, no sea here,

no Juno, Jupiter or Saturn

(the ships of my childhood).


At Moniack Mhor I lie with the bees,

their still bodies floating above me.

A horse rider clips in the lower valley,

     curlews cry in my ear.


Hills fall behind hills,

behind hills. Moniack Mhor

is forever opening –

a gift of dry grass, crab clouds,

the green nest of furze slowly breaking apart.


Nightly the yellow almond buds

     creep closer,

until I can taste them in the dark air.

Poetry Ireland Review,  2018

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