I found him in Eireann's heartbeat as constant as her searching tides, a pulse for vital motion, and could not discover where one ended and the other began for both were of the same essence. I felt him in Deirdre's sorrow, as mournful as loves lost hope, her light so cruelly extinguished at the grave of Naois. Even the cold loch would conspire to part them in repose. But defiant, they cast their boughs of fir across the water, and he is the knot that binds them. I heard him in Hybernia's song, as lyrical as her secret lovers, paying tribute to her Winter moon. He embraced her teary downpour, rode the bitter wind and from it gave her living breath. Now I search this land for signs of him as she is, without her soul, lost to me, for he is emerald, heartbeat, sorrow and song. He is Tir na nÓg and though my roots are planted deep, I am Niamh without her Oisín and he is my eternal heartland.
© 2003 Louise Riley
Surrounded by millions who rush to and fro with overhead speakers which call for John Doe to please pick up the phone. But without you...alone. The touch of your breath, my lips on your cheek; under light of full moon as I feel your heart beat in a time we forgot. Now alone like I sought. The brisk night whispers peace that my soul can't repeat yet so tries to command, but concludes between sleep and dim thought that loneliness is poor company to keep.
© 1996 John Nelson Schneider
The waves, they hardly make a sound - uniting with the wind, both sounding alike, yet I hear them not. The sky mirrors the sea tonight. The crescent moon radiates circular arclight behind the clouds, orange in reflection of the harbour lights. I try to gather thoughts but feel no more than the flap of a herons wings below on the rocks. A single tear is all I shed, adding salt to salt, replacing human turmoil with marine serenity. I shall leave this place and not return, for my course is not like that of the ferries I see before me. Mine is into the distance where the horizon unites the heavens and earth. There can be no turning back.
© 1999 Louise Riley
Sun beats down. Bright light; slights night. Depart the wilderness; desert waste. Return to the valley; forest grove. Then let the rains fall and cool the scourched soul.
© 2000 John Nelson Schneider
ribbon white filtered light standing in the sun with blue green grass through shimmered glass commanding my childish gaze and clouds gather and rains fall and winds blow and lightning strikes nearby with flashing bright burning light piercing through the sky leavened soil and farmer's toil a seedling stretching deep want of bread and covered bed masking cosmic needs and clouds gather and winds blow and blow and blow and blow with farmer's toil to his spoil when heaven shuts its gates
© 1996, 2000 John Nelson Schneider
A long time after Scarface Met Morning-Star his friend, Sun, Moon, and Morning-Star Took me into Father Sky. Sun, in his sweat lodges, Healed and cleansed me, For I am the White Son Of this land; adopted, After my fathers' fathers Came from the lands Over the hills where the sun comes up. My fathers' peoples Have no sacred lands here. Now Sun, Moon, and Morning-Star Send me back to my tribe, To the circle of lodges And the circle of the council fire, Where the gift stolen by Coyote From the faraway mountain-top Warms my face and carries The sweet-grass smoke into the sky. Now at night my dream catchers Snare the vision of a Medicine Woman. She comes from the lands Over the hills where the sun comes up, From the sacred lands Where her fathers' father's bones are buried. She flies on the wind Like a mighty bird. She has strong Medicine Borrowed from the Great Spirit. Her sweet-grass is like That of Sun's four sweat lodges. And to me she seems strange; For she is what I am, And I am what she will be. She is both Deer and Dragonfly, For in graceful love she is The keeper of my dream time. So no dream catchers Will I set, But will wait For Sun, Moon, and Morning-Star To bring the Medicine Woman From the lands Over the hills where the sun comes up, Out of Father Sky, To Mother Earth, To this, my native, Adopted land.
© 2000 John Nelson Schneider
She is the noble lady Of the emerald vesture Who calls to me in dreams. Through misted moonlight I have seen The path that leads To her glen and loch. By light of dusk On shadowed hills We have there rejoined Through glimpsing eyes, Then turned to separate paths. Now where is Ainé, Keeper of my visions? The dreamer of Glendalough, The noble lady Miadh Ríoghan. My friend.
© 2001 John Nelson Schneider
The soul yearned to pen its store
The soul yearned to pen its store of words, tired of quashing the ragings of the entrapped. So an image was conjured in the hope of evoking such an outpour, an image of water surging and rushing out, as it finally conquers the dam, flooding the valley encompassing all in it's path, destruction in its wake. But the dam was impermeable, not easily broken, sanity reigned bringing forth a dry and desolate valley. So abandoning futile efforts hoping one day for a natural flood to give life to the desert time passed, and all was forgotten but the restlessness. Then the clouds came they brought the rain, the rain was remembered and welcomed, life found the desert and in the twilight it wore ghostly shades of green and grey. Solace sat and pondered the new growth, wondering should the sunrise be it's beacon on an expedition through the foliage, or will the imminence of the rising moon reveal all to the eyes of the searching soul.
© 2000 Louise Riley
Shallow water is unoccupied with secrets, unadorned by surprises, there is nothing to uncover, discover, reveal. So we played there, like children; oblivious to time. For us there was no summons down the passage of continuance, only the clear and visible viewing gallery of the here and now, And therein was the lie. A whisper; a haunt, induced the upward glance. The deeper waters, just beyond the boundaries of our venture, brimmed with promise, extending the invitation to enter the hidden depths which would so readily encompass, giving up their mysteries to the one who would plunge into the bliss of complete submersion. The whisper was vague, the haunt was manifest; as familiar as the scent of fresh strawberries, we were playing in the shallow water, barely getting wet. Contentment with the clearly visible became an attribution of surface layer only; the meager undercurrents rippled with limitation. You looked down , saw where your feet were planted and felt you had reached your frontiers End. I looked up, felt the nourishing power of necessary motion, and saw the depths of Eternity. And herein is the truth; Abiding, enduring, withstanding, everlasting... ...Deep.
© 1999 Louise Riley
Echoes, as strong as ocean waves, as faint as ripples on a garden pond, carried like a secret whispered in a crowded room; And ringing in my head they seemed like quiet, scattered revelations sent to tease my solitary muses. I wondered at their portent as one who gazes at the night sky tries with outstretched hand to touch a single, distant star; Hope a reality, and contact just beyond her fingertip. And so with sigh and mental shrug focus is channelled to what is more familiar - as dim recognition is a cold replacement for the searing of bright recollection. Now the shadows reveal themselves, the introductions not unlike those of distant ancestors to future generations. Each face from the past somewhat mirrored by infant eyes and childish lips yearning to see and speak the knowledge that would send my weighted soul on a journey of expansive discovery. Knowledge wanes then swells, the ebb of discovery drawing future to past and past to present; I am the vortex. Yet though they pass through me in shallow breaths I cannot fathom the secret fears they leave in the dusted wake trailing their winding path. The rising joys - a peak, a glimmer - converge in my chest and flutter, pound, in a space long devoid of discerning. An image rippled by falling tears that glimmers and shatters then collects the slivers and regroups, catches my eye and causes my heart to leap. An image of things to come, revealed to me with the clarity of dawning light. Oh, I would claim them for my own. Time will bring to me assurance. Assurance, hope; faith that wavers not. Dreams will navigate me to that destination, a subconscious journey, a passage from the demons' lair behind, from imagined worlds of bliss; from here, from there; from then, from now; to unite all certainties with all possibilities; to thrive on the surprise each unlived moment holds for us; to acknowledge that by living we accept the mysteries that lie ahead. To you.
© 1999 Louise Riley and John Nelson Schneider
What's the whisper? The curtains are drawn, shutting out the light And the cold darkness dwelling in the stillness of the night: Haunting like a shadow of the days of our past. But life passes on, diminishing fast. To rise then fall. Is that all? Though the sun rises high in the quiet of dawn And the dew melts away, as if moved like a pawn; The moon, if it can, will shut out the light And eclipse our droll lives, turning day into night. To shine in vain. Is it the same? The stars in the sky, acting in a play, Though the light we now see may have faded away; The star reached its peak in the solace of space Then shattered into blindness with nothing in its place. What's the whisper? Do men always fall after the peak? Is it the same, the pattern so bleak? Rise and never fall, shine and not in vain. The story can change... The whisper.
© 1991, 2000, 2001 John Nelson Schneider
who is michael…
the same, we are, different. one of you. each, encompassing concept. a search, a quest, lifelong. drawing to a close. dawning, transient focus. a statement, i am, you. subconscious certainty. undecided, carved in sandstone. essential. you haunt, me. elusive intimation. tangible, forcefully gentle. a passion, a desire, need. lust for purity. untouched, hesitantly sought. hibernia, devoid of, answers. impatient limbo. forbearing, i am moved. desperate, a soul, ache. volitant deliberate. complete, not without. within. with. michael.
© 1999 Louise Riley