Life cycle

Autumn moves in swiftly in its yearly grand procession,

striping bare the trees festooned with leaves of dying brown.

Speaking to creation, calling her once more to dream in sleep

to protect her unborn children before Winter takes his throne.

The sea puts on her mantle forged in hues of green and gray

and the breeze now chills the sand that basked in balmy summer haze,

storm clouds dress the heavens as the gulls screech out their cry

as evening makes her presence felt with the shortening of days.

Fallen fruit from tree and hedgerow lies rotting on the ground

and furrowed field show ploughman’s practiced skill,

Proclaiming planted seed lies buried deep within the earth

where resurrection waits, love’s purpose to fulfil.

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Dancing in Senility

Her thoughts bleed from her consciousness like water through a sieve
and suddenly in her twilight she can at last begin,
the journey of discovery we long are taught to fear
in vast caverns full of emptiness where now she wonders free.
Transfixed by the beauty that ordered memories long obscured
she dances in the space where finally time has lost control,
her visits now so frequent, going back is hard to bear,
this place, where lost, she finds herself, released from others care.
She hears the distant voices of those who long for her returning
and though at times she answers them, within she knows the yearning,
to dance once more where steps are not dictated by expectation,
which so easily imprison, though held with the best loving intention,
by those whose need, so urgent, for her to be just as she was,
They imagine that this journey can be nothing more than loss,
when perhaps sometimes the loving thing would be to allow her just to roam
this land of strangeness, so well known, where now she has found home.

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Mimi’s Song


Flying free, on air’s uplifting rush,

the joy of gliding high through sapphire sky,

animated now, who last lay watching,

as distant eyes beheld her hearts desire.

At last, with singing heart she takes his hand

In deeper life, death can no more divide,

Their majestic flight, beauty glimpsed in unity,

together now, forever flying free.

CMD 6/4/17

Mum


Your mother’s voice is unlike any other voice you hear.from infancy it has the power to banish every fear.

Her loving arms, assured you she would always keep you safe 

Her presence in your universe allowed you find your place.

To see yourself reflected in her eyes so filled with pride

gave courage to your spirit, she was always on your side.

She spoke the truth even when it was hard to say the words

She sacrificed in hope that she could shield you from life’s hurts.

She always had such faith in you, even when you failed,

She always spoke the best of you when the critic’s voice prevailed.

Her love, a given constant in this ever changing life,

Still the one to run to when our world seemed full of strife.

It still does not seem possible that you’re no longer here

To guide, encourage, comfort or dry an adults tear.

In those last few hours mum, when your light began to fade

We whispered words of love, and told you not to be afraid

We held you then, as you had us as babies years ago

So we’d be sure our love for you was something you would know.

Now you walk in memory, though your likeness we both wear.

The mirror a reminder of the one whose love and care

laid the sure foundations of the men we have become

through your love so freely given,, our extraordinary mum. x

For your tomorrow

Voices from the battlefield still speak, once more they say,

remember well, For your tomorrow we gave our today,

In foreign lands we did not know, our loved ones worlds away,

We gave up our tomorrow for the hope of your new day.

Don’t waste this gift which many souls in sacrifice have paid,

Or like the sepia photograph on mantle shelf that fades,

we’ll be consigned to history, just a name on granite stone.

Another unknown soldier with no one now to mourn.

We die that many years from now, when children ask, what for?

In courage you will tell the true obscenity of war.

We pray they will not recognise the horrors we must face,

that from their place in history such bloodshed has no place.

No orphans born of conflicts, or widows weeds to shield

From pain of blooded corpses on some other foreign field.

We sing of Tipperary, it speaks our hope of home

Our dream for children’s children on this battlefield lay sown.

Please God, may such barbarity, such fear and pain and sorrow,

when Last Post sounds for me tonight, speak peace for their tomorrow.

The Call


I’ve known his voice since I was born,

It speaks the name Love then bestowed,

whose sound awakes the longing heart

with the wonder of the Eternal Word.

A shepherd’s care and watchful eye

have led my feet through all my years

where Spirit danced, her wonders sown

revealing joy in midst of fears.

A home in cloistered sanctuary

and place of enclosed soul retreat

as wisdom’s prayer its healing brought,

 and courage gave to cautious feet.

For everything there is a time

and now that love secure is known

and scholars pen has found its mark

Christ’s invitation I now may own.

Now is the time, here is the place,

Where call, at last, may answered be.

To grow the Kingdom of his love,

and in each face, his image see.

Written for the licensing of Dee O’Reilly,

October 2016 CMD

Freedom of the sea


Turn, so breeze may fill her silken sail,

pulling her through wave like wooden plough

towards the distant hazy blue horizon 

where seamlessly heaven and earth collide.

She moves as smooth as sharpened skate on ice,

effortless her progression to the eye

til’ sight is forced to strain to see her glide

to that place where billowed sail and cloud combine.

Her journey lifts my spirit as I stare

offering a glimpse of hearts desire,

of freedom with no limit, cost or fear

but shackled, I can only stand to watch.