I have left the past,
or so I thought;
yet it sits on every corner,
sits on my back.
Sometimes the long garden with a hammock
to swing in, to laze in,
near the sweet peas, near the roses.
Sometimes a white breeze
salty from the ocean.
A busy street bustling with strangers
and hooting cars in the rush-hour.
It is Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales.
It is war-time, it is peace-time.
It is a wedding vow torn by the wind.
It is sitting around a table, laughing.
It is the dearest dead.
It is christening the baby.
It is like a cave,
or a pass through the mountain.
And always the still small voice.
Saint Trillo's Chapel
Rhos-on Sea, North Wales
Quieter than a breath
between heaven and earth,
this tiny chapel.
Six people it seats, no more.
Here six centuries ago, in the marsh,
in his cell, Saint Trillo lived,
a spring of fresh water beneath his feet.
Hour after hour he prayed.
Sun sent rays of hope,
moon his dreams and sleep.
He toiled, dug trenches to drain
the marsh, gathered herbs, grew grain,
healed the sick, fed the poor.
Many gave praise and thanks to God;
then picked up a spade and turned the land
to help this good and God-fearing man.
Now as I sit in this tiny chapel
of bright flowers and coloured windows,
a whispering song seesaws from the sea.
It shone through the half door
across the floor, table, benches –
climbed the gaping fireplace.
In salt-sea air, she hears
distant waves breaking.
Sea-birds calling razor-sharp
as the shells scattered on the shore.
Just outside the door
in a bucket of well-water,
fresh mackerel are waiting to be cooked.
A floating leaf patterns a shadow.
She looks in the mirror,
her brown eyes and red-gold hair
all sparkling in midday light.
She is neither child nor woman.
A foghorn booms.
The bright light – now muffled
in chilly swirling white.
She shuts the deep-set window
but not the door, it is only half open.
She will kindle the grate,
light the fire
before her mother returns.
Maureen Weldon is Irish and lives in North Wales. She is a former professional ballet dancer. Her poems have been published in both print and online magazines and journals including Poetry Scotland, Crannog, Drey, Poetry Cornwall, Fire, Purple Patch, Poetry Monthly, Reflections, On-Line, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Snakeskin. In 2011 twenty-five of her poems were published by The Sons of Camus International Journal, winning her an award. She has published five chapbooks, and enjoys giving readings – especially with live music.