The Past


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

dancing leaf-patterns

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, ReflectionsOn-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. 

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