Climb Sheer The Fields Of Peace

by Alison O'Donnell

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1.
The train that carries all your words has crashed in the dark You were minding me in The People’s Park Under a grainy black and white sun You grasped every chain of reason Before almost anyone Hurrying away from the choppy sea Toiling up that murderous hill every year Columns of figures and ancient machines Only once did I catch you drop one quick tear Who could fathom your introspection? We laid the table and lit the fire For you could manage every other work Boil and bake, wash, enlighten and inspire All those prizes that you lightly won A box of snapshots locked in your brain The shutters slam down and windows are barred As you physically come undone
2.
GREEN OF HEART Drifting through fields of crowded flowers Until they bowed their petalled heads Matching yellow cowslips with my shoes Shepherd’s purse in flashes white and poppies red And the cobalt sky above was not just blue Nettles failed to sting so entranced was I No road to navigate or town to close me in Patchwork fields stretched far beyond my eye Dismay and bother held each other’s hands And wheeled away in a departing dizzy spin Green of heart
3.
IN THE SNOWMELT White spruce, pine and cedar And where tongues of fjords converse Lonesome rambler roves in the wild Across The Pacific Province traverse Falling on stumps hidden in the snowmelt Where loggers have done their kill Navigate the jags of downstream ice No pelts to keep out the chill Forage berries and edible roots He lets small creatures still to roam The spirit bear and harlequin duck Only he will view their home Falling on stumps hidden in the snowmelt Where loggers have done their kill Navigate the jags of downstream ice No pelts to keep out the chill
4.
Hunting Down 03:48
HUNTING DOWN Little man, his arms around A fawn in death and not in life Handed down from father Who taught you how to use a hunting knife You do not hunger for any harvest Smear of blood is on your face Your journey leads to an epiphany Your friends will find no hiding place Roaming wild and hunting down Sea of demons let you drown Wrap that piece in a softened cloth Bury it deep in that wildwood hole Point it at the outstretched tree Blast away its rustic soul Who is there to offer help? No one cares for your thorny plight Open up the eager floodgates And pour out your wrath and might Roaming wild and hunting down Sea of demons let you drown
5.
THE ROAD WE KNOW Along the road we know The strobing sun is setting Buffeted by blow By wind and by wetting Sing louder than the lashing and peer through the rain Can’t wait to get there by four wheels or train Along the road we know Clouds are reshaping The distance is aglow With a city that is waking Words pouring down like hailstones on our roof Strung out on time enough to tell the truth Along the road we know Along the road we go
6.
SWANS THEY ARE A-FEEDING Tell me of your dream Where you can glimpse the world that’s coming Watch the swans a-feeding fish, oh my There’s a tortoise playing ball And a cat that suckles chicks See the weasel on a bird flying high You are a boy who wears a cocked hat Pointing at the night sky Where the moon will have a man walking by You tell me he will soar there In a fiery machine Waving good old terra firma goodbye With a solitary tear in his eye Your midnight musing is fantastical to me I’m a god-fearing girl who simply cannot believe I may travel by road And along shiny rails But never with my head in the clouds The smoke of battle rises And the bullets are a-spinning Deadly weaponry of war is far too loud Tell me of your nightmare Where men with swathed faces March those in bright robes to face the knife Will people of science and learning Torture one another And send them left or right to end their life Or dwell on crueller ways to make them die? Your midnight musing is fantastical to me I’m a god-fearing girl who simply cannot believe If the waters gush and the winds do howl and cry Even king and queens will bow down in splendour to grieve There’s a painting in the gallery of a garden of earthly delights That also parades a vision of freakery and fright
7.
Pathways 03:48
PATHWAYS Pathways strewn with rocks to the sea Pathways Each step of intention weary and weighty And blinded by heat haze Blue on the surface and black down below Where are the colours I used to know? My crimson heart is a faded rose This is the winding path I chose Here is the siren singing for me To lead us astray What I would give for the shade of a tree The wide ocean is playing with me A gravel walk would be safer than this stormy water The fire of a furnace a swifter slaughter Glint of green draws me back to the shore There is always a backdoor
8.
Memorial 04:56
MEMORIAL The full Spring draws in tides of gentle wind, A mighty sun infusing earth and sky But I have come, through cataclysmic night, Too late for my goodbye. Through sombre windows seen, the almond glows, Scattering bitter gladness on the grass. Inside these walls, where double silence wells, My buried ages pass. Upstairs alone, the source of silence sleeps- A darling face whose wisdom is release. From soundless chamber to the waiting Spring Climb sheer the fields of peace. P.A.T. O’Donnell
9.
REDBREAST IN A ROWAN TREE Redbreast in a rowan tree Hung with droplets of blood Vixen screams like a banshee Worm wriggles in the mud Tried to pull a thorn with his black bill From the crown of a man on a crucifix The spreading red on that deathly hill Flushed the chest of that bird right quick Lift up your voice little songster And join in the chorus with me
10.
SLEEPING ON STRANGE PILLOWS She always wanted to come in from the biting cold Face down in music drenching her hungry soul That child lay long in a sterilised hospital bed Longing for escape through the songs in her head Craving crayons in a big box with silver and gold To draw out those pictures that will be a sight to behold So many faces you have loved are in in your words You opened your mouth wide and out flew a songbird Constantly in the darkness, desperate to break free Sleeping in a cave, washing your hair in the sea Living in the birthplace of Western civilisation Then a spreading blue, a lasting wondrous creation Sleeping on strange pillows she would write one day About an aviator whose Electra lost its way She could do just about every damn artistic endeavour That fine fattened up body of work is going to last forever If you play the fool on an invite to her music room She might bark and bite in a voice that’s out of tune The crown of flowers that she used to wear Cannot be seen now but we all know that it’s there Constantly in the darkness, desperate to break free Sleeping in a cave, washing your hair in the sea Living in the birthplace of Western civilisation Then a spreading blue, a lasting wondrous creation
11.
AN EMPIRE IN ITS GLORY Close those books until another day There is an answer to your prayer The house is full of mould and giant cobwebs And a mawkish air Sign your name and state your age The paper will grow old but never die For an empire in its glory is bound to own you Until the seas run dry A lad who kneels in church is full of worship The clink of his buttons so percussive He will bang the drum and march with a brass band But never combative He left behind a faith and family He clenched a ball of sodden earth And shouted loud to the raging sky In the land of his birth Fold your kit and move along On desert sands and tangled wildwoods And when the wars are coursing through your veins Remember childhood
12.
THE PULL AND DRAG BLUES Walking in the wildest city Tearing down the danger signs I don’t want your utmost pity Up my sleeve a flickering, glittering knife Reaching for fingers to defend my life The trouble is my second skin makes me pretty Everyone is on the make Down along Kotze Street Surrounded by reprobates Two hours sleep and then squiggly, wiggly lines Words on the page are driving me blind Clattering keys jerk my temples awake Threw my lot with a troubadour He plucked those strings in the hotel bar The doe-eyed girls always wanted more All his talk falls like silvery shards of rain Only a few of us could explain His come and go would have your heart full sore The air he breathed was a poisoned gas A snake is squeezing his life away I severed its head with a broken glass Dead to me three rowdydowdy decades past That lying back on a strip of grass Friend I am but another poolroom regret

credits

released July 14, 2017

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