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Audio and Video

Salmon Poetry

What is Written on the Leaves

Of the season, let go. Of the ache to shape and make meaning, 
let go. Of the hand in the dark, moss and worm, the awful gnaw. 
Of the docked tongue, the root-clenched heart. Let go trunk mold, 
branch rot. Of the green shoot that sprouts through your death, 
being born, let go. Of the changing light—the euphonious chorus 
of children, let go. Of your mother’s hand, your father’s laughter. 
Of what has happened to us. Of all far-flung and gone, let go. 
Of holding your head in your hands. Of the sap-drawn kiss, 
the tickle and itch of weeds, of love’s ooze and ease, let go. 
Of I am sorry. Of mote and thorn, of throat dust. Of I need to, 
I want to, I have to, I forgot to. Of empty and ample. Of all 
the threadbare maps, let go. Of lavish and blaze, the crimson 
and gold of this glorious leaving. Sister, prayerful sister, 
brother hanging from a branch, let go. Of the myriad and ravenous, 
these parasitic griefs, let go. Of the gnarled lie, the spine, the trunk 
bent earthward, of gravemouth and world. Of I miss everyone 
even when they’re near. Of faith, of the perennial kneel, 
the anchored dream, the hold and hull of flesh and soul. 
Of what should I have said to save you, of withered stalk: 
stuck here, wanting there, let go. Of the clank and drag 
of anger’s black anvil. Of the fresh and cleansing rain, of every breath. 
Of snow, of the fluttering moth, of shadow, of the tethers 
of language, let go. Of look at all I’ve accomplished. Of province 
and coastline, of tall grass swaying, the thunderhead tumble 
of summer, of a loneliness that’s known you best, of a box 
of shells, of the gulls, let go. Let go of thrust and skirl, of desire. 
Let go of panic and skitter and sweat. Of pleasure, of bloodroot 
and blossom, of touch and hunger. Of phlox and lily, of homesick, 
of who was I then, let go. Of marigold, iris, daisy, of the moon 
and the pines, of the dew-wet lick and wisp, the lemon spill 
of spring mornings, of chasing kites, of running with shoes untied. 
Let go of all the songs. Of wall and beam, of plumb line and pen, 
of I no longer recognize my hands. Let go of the worn pages, 
of pilgrimage, of grace, of afterward. Of stay with me, don’t go, 
let go. Of all the shatter and ash. Of your daughter’s, your son’s, 
your love’s hands. Of horizon, of what will become of all of this. 
Of loose tooth, spindrift, farewell, here goes: let go. 

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Salmon Poetry / The Salmon Bookshop
& Literary Centre,
Main Street,
County Clare,
V95 XD35,

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