To Isolde

The Tradescantia’s thriving on the tears
You wept in the conservatory,
Your tendrils losing tentative hold-
Flowers withered,
Leaves browning at the edges.

But words that seemed in danger were never lost
Even when you shrivelled
Hunger wasted – body drained
Your mind still spun with
Arguments for living by the dead

As long as there was a screen, a piece of paper,
An audience or even a single ear,
Your words rolled on and tumbled down
Like Blanaid’s milky river falls –
Your sequined graduation dress.

Gold dragon that you are
You flew at last
With silver eggs and golden eggs
Cracked out and growing limbs;
Wings of passion sinewed with your fears.

You came to slowly, barely saw
The dragon fire, heroine river,
Flowering earth and ready minds
That formed your guard of honor –
Philosopher in the silver sequin dress.


Honor O Brolchain
June 2001