Thursday, 3 November 2011

Dumbstruck

Even our languages fail us,
blasted into silence,
nouns gutted of meaning,
Lie twisted to Mental Reservation,
titles defiled: Father, Athair,
Reverend
split open
the wormy antonym coiled in its core
blind eye turned
to the rot in its heart
Sanctuary violated
superlatives we counted on torn
from their roots
verbs hard-tempered in fire
spun to cloud by their mouths
We cry out for reformation
for pages of revelations nailed
to cathedral doors
in Dublin, Ferns, Cloyne
They answer with pleas
of innocence in pulpit voices
garbed like toreros in trajes de luces,
steel concealed
beneath silken embroideries.
Our strongest words fall defenceless
as Samson shorn of his hair:
we howl of unspeakable deeds,
peel the skin off our tongues,
burn new adjectives.

© Breda Wall Ryan


Church braced for wave of sex abuse allegations
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Breda Wall Ryan has poems in several journals and anthologies. She was shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize 2010.

3 comments:

  1. Our strongest words fall defenceless
    as Samson shorn of his hair:
    we howl of unspeakable deeds,
    peel the skin off our tongues,
    burn new adjectives......Wow!! How powerful!! Love this piece!

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  2. great work Breda, congratulations and welcome to the world of Poetry24 !

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  3. What ever happened to; 'Do not do unto others what you would not want done to you!'? It is so absent from the behaviour of even those who declare themselves its guardians that one is dumbstruck indeed!

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