The Republic of Love

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The Poppy
For the Athlone Community College Student Award Winners 2010


Because there is no point to anything anyway
It is necessary to be defiant and protesting
Like a single red poppy in a field of yellowing corn


And because I care so desperately that there is no point
I keenly feel the deadly sadness underlying it all


I know there is no voice that is like unto mine
There never was nor will there ever be again
For my time under the warmth of the sun which will set


And so there is no reason never to be
Outrageous or resplendent as a poppy
           and generously
Giving difference to the sameness of that field of corn
Shouting out that I was born for better or for worse
Waving my flag and making my colourful noise
And frightening away the darkness for as long as possible


To become the best poppy that ever there was
Is no mean ambition because it means
To take on the responsibility of caring for myself
And not to lean on or to take from others’ kindnesses


And for today’s eternity how glorious a thing it is
To be alive and laughing in the wind
Extravagantly scattering my seeds of happiness and hope
And being wild
                     and flagrant
                                      and dancing
Like a single red poppy in a whole field of yellowing corn

The Daffodil
For all those who have been touched by cancer.


I desire to be free as the daffodil
For daffodils dance in the wind and the rain
Like children at play laughing and waving
Celebrating in the green spring


Those brilliant yellow Lent lilies
Are risen from the dead after suffering underground
And offer the promise of a resurrection
Nodding their assent to the dream of the impossible


Their glance is more tenuous from having survived the
Fearless of tomorrow they live only for today
And give prodigally blooming in profusion
Delighting the soul with yellow brightness
Inviting me courageously onwards towards the summer
Illuminating steps with lighted lanterns


So changed from having lost
Aware of limits lacking that much more
I embrace the cost of a new life
A second time around


Another chance to flame with love
The last dance better than before
I have endured like the daffodil
I too am above ground
And mostly I am childishly grateful