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  April 2019
volume 16 number 1
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Greg Patrick
April 2019
   

 

bio


photo by james barros

    As he was an enlisted man's son, Greg saw something of Europe and the South Pacific/Polynesia and Oceania. His cross-cultural interactions and patronage of museums/historic sites inspired him to writing. He was a student of Anthropology and History. His maternal roots drew him to the Isles of Ireland and Britain to pursue Celtic studies. He is a dual citizen of the U.S.A. and the Republic of Ireland. More so a citizen of the world. He was involved in volunteer efforts on behalf of people and the natural world and would encourage others to do that. It is the world's poetry.

   

 

Across the Divide

(Written in Belfast)


    By the dwindling twilight his shadow was cast along the much graffitied wall dividing the two communities… As if his presence was more than eloquence alone…
    He cast an inordinately generous amount in a soloist busker’s case and brushed past the curious look…
    The old sentimental song ushering him into the night.
    And the rebel angel’s soul of him danced with the lost souls in the song that seemed to ventriloquize the shadows.
    He remembered when he embraced her…when he didn’t feel the chill rain like the one that hailed him now.
    “A lord of snow and rain”.
    Disembodied music seemed to haunt the night as if a song’s title eluded a bewitched listener…
    The face that so captivated him mid-step… the one that would move a busker to stop mid-song… allowing the last echoes of the song to fade like a lover’s ghost into the immolation of dawn…
    A flash of startlingly impossibly green eyes before disappearing into the urban stream like a toast spilt in intoxication before it meets the lips…
    Her gaze like a translation of light to music the way a soloist composer reads silence set to music… Captivated by the gaze like all wild things that freeze before onrushing car beams… Eyes like biolumined tide pools of Celtic sea in matchless Gemini. Gaze of soundless incantation.
    The passing smile touched him like a tangible Aeolian caress not as the bard conjures song from harp strings but as the bard’s song touches and captivates the soul and séances visions of broken dreams in distant eyes like a ghost haunting a castle’s ruins…
    Beauty is a warning from nature and it went unheeded.
    The night wind like the ghost of an imminent kiss’s breath before a duet of lips now steaming in a sigh like the soloist busker in duet to echoes alone like a song one could not get out of one’s head, like a somnambulance over the dreamscapes of the heart.
    Not every man can be an island. One with rebellion at its heart and music at its soul.
    In the background he heard the maddening throb of marching band’s drums like the parody of a heartbeat… The zombified tread of adhering feet.
    Saw the alleyway illuminated in hellish splendour.
    Like a moth in an aerial dance with a fatal light he waltzed with her against a skyline of bonfires Vesuvianly blazing… A moth’s yearning for the burning. and the sensation of flight…
    Like a found castaway overlooking a sea of fire…
    Like a poem written against the flames she seemed.
    The illusionist’s betrayal of hating by dystopian creed vanished by the counterspell of eyes that cast their Endorian maleficence…
    And where the illusionist’s art was thwarted he knew magic in its true form…
    Like the unmasking at the stroke of midnight at the masquerade ball…
    “Take my hand this eve of the fires and together let’s throw back the dark…
    And no wall will come between us again…”
    Hailed anointingly in the embrace by the shockingly cold rain.
    The storm swept over him enrapturingly…uttering her name in a thousand names…
    Lips met in heretical duet…
    A trinity of three words…
    Like the belief that sacred texts would arise above the flames of a pyre…
    And it seemed the stars obscured in the city night were reignited.
    When will I see you again…?
    He hearkened to the bell tolling the appointed hour…
    His breath steamed in the chill air like the last shot of a duelist’s pistol…
    He raised his collar and pulled his hat low as he strode across the high street the bells tolling in synchrony with his heart.
    His muse made her entrance… His eyes rapt as if a lost nomad’s eyes
enthralled by the vision… as if all but saying “why doth the sun rise in the west”.
    Illuminated he stood as if hailed in ash and flame. His arms spread awaiting an embrace that never came.
    Her back exploding in red as she fell, her outline spreading crimson from her splayed arms running towards his unfulfilled embrace like a red angel graffitied on the urban warzone.
    He knelt over her… in a heartfelt last kiss trying to breathe life back into her.
    Eyes looked up from hers… seeing nothing…
    Transcending the ranks of advancing soldiers through the smoking ruins.
    Deafened by the explosions yet understanding…
    “Paddy ye have to let me go…”
    The refined private-tutored voice…
    “Go Paddy. They’ll kill you…”
    “Come back to the light Elizabeth…”
    He felt arms grab him… raising him.
    The rubber bullets ricocheting off the walls.
    Eyes fluttering open before their soulfire dwindled like the last light of the midnight sun to two standing looking.
    Like the ruined bastion and sentinel reached by a causeway spanning the Celtic sea… “And no walls will come between us again…”
    He had to wait… to wait until the mourners left. Till her people left and he could be alone with his lady. The crimson leaves of Samhain fell, hailing him.
    A defiant look to the parson who told him to leave.
    Tears like brandished warpaint.
    A throbbing phantom pain in the presence of couples laughing and holding each other.
    He remained aloof and alone in the pub, eyes brooding over the rim of the untouched pint cup… raised a toast to an empty chair as if to a kingdom with an empty throne at its heart.
    And unsung vision at a blinded bard’s soul…
    Silhouetted against the hearth in dark profile.
    You fell in love and rose over it… Over the bonfires… over the flags… over the murals… over a skyline of a city and night set on fire…

    Part 2

    Setting: Dunluce Castle
    He lingered as the last light of the sun ignited the sea before him like an illuminated manuscript.
    He lingered at the causeway of Dunluce Castle till the first belated stars appeared. Like one passerby amid the throng who stops midstride at a solitary busker’s song and stands in a still slow dance with the memories haunting the song… Like a bard’s ghost waiting in solitary vigil to serenade a muse beyond his station…
    He sang “She Moved Through The Fair” like a confidence betrayed to the night…
    Like an eerie burning murmuration the aurora borealis danced over the castle’s legend-haunted towers… in a danse macabre of fluorescent light in spectral revel… The Northern lights illuminated her façade as if a mirage beckoned with gathering substance of form and face…
    Envisioned like an artist wavering between finishing touches to complete a Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece…
    Feeling more kindred to the chieftain’s bards and ladies who laughed and cried in the old song’s echoes…
    He closed his eyes as if into a slow dance’s embrace…
    The waves of the Celtic sea rolled over the dark shipwrecked fathoms ventriloquizing the depth of his sigh…
    Like a far-flung pilgrim awaiting an elusive vision…
    The moon cast its spell of radiance over the shadow-haunted ruins…
    Like her heart and soul.
    As he stood like a sentinel of shadow… feeling older than the hills…
    And the Celtic sea seemed to sigh… An expectant hush befell…
    What he confided in brooding silence was a confidence between mortal and god alone…
    The surface of sea mirrored the moon like a spectral portal reopened.
    The eternal song of the waves beckoned him to the crushing brink of sea… awaiting a sacrificial offering.
    He envisioned her in Orphean valediction.
    Swaying in possessed waltz… He fell… As hard as a heart in love… a hard as he fell on the burning street. The shockwave swept over him.
    He shuddered convulsively… A trembling hand reached for hers… Like
a soloist composer searching for the right words.
    The shattering impact of water… The elusive luxuriant peace of the dark fathoms as if reclaiming an outcast changeling to the dark realms of song and legend.
    Moonbeams followed him as he sank. Like a presence of radiance escorting him to the depths like an apparitional searchlight.

copyright 2019 Greg Patrick