Orla Fay: Andromeda’s Sleep

Calibos takes Andromeda from her sleep,

The Clash of the Titans, 1981

The steel playground slide collects at its base

rainwater that is warm as a pool

of seawater in the sunlight

left over by the tide.

Lush green trees are heavy with hawthorn;

perfect pearl throws.

On the electricity pole

the single crow

on a corner of wire that forms a square;

the north, the south, the east and the west.

The swallows dive pulling heart chariots;

theatrical daredevils.

The sky vacantly journeys aided by twilight

and abetted by the moon.

In the middle of the night I awaken

to scurrying sounds that rise up

from below through the open window.

“Who is it?” the owl calls. “What do you want?”

Paralysis starts in the feet, travels

upwards coldly gripping calves.

Tumbling through darkness

I disturb fixed stars that startled

fall in glitter showers

in a world where trees drag their roots

across the swamp,

where voices are echoes,

where he fawns over his own reflection

in a pool adorned with vines

that are caressed by his arm’s stump.

When the fire dawn birds call

I am picked up in talons

and returned to the cauldron of morning.

And I never remember who he was,

my captor, nor what he wanted

except that some dark part

of my soul questioned

and he answered.



Orla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries Magazine. Her poetry has been published in Boyne Berries, Crannog, Abridged, The SHOp, North West Words, The Linnet’s Wings, The Stony Thursday Book, Orbis, Carillon, Shot Glass Journal and Silver Blade Magazine, among others. She is a Forward prize nominee and she keeps a blog at http://www/orlafay.blogspot.ie


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