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Writing on the Wild Edges:
Participant Poem from Francine E. Walls

At the end of August, 17 creative souls gathered with us for our retreat on Inismor – Writing on the Wild Edges of the World. We had a wonderful group with participants from all over the U.S., Canada, Singapore, and Australia. I am delighted to share some of their poems over these next few weeks. Pour a cup of tea, imagine yourself on a windswept limestone island in the Atlantic, and savor for a while.

From Francine E. Walls:

The Abbot of Inis Mor turns to his Flock

Pow!  Waves stomp on sand, a fringe
of lace spreads out,
rooted kelp lets down its green hair.

How long must the sea speak its liquid song before you listen?
A currach bobs at anchor on this bay.
Steal away to Iceland or beyond, or,
throw away rudder, oars, sails,
drift to a place of beginnings.

Though hunger growls in your belly,
cold slices like a blade, pirates beset you,
dive into cockles, fish, whales;
cry like a gull, swim into froth.

Your way may be barely discernible,
gray against gray, blue against blue.
Closer, see a cleft in the wall, a slender harbor.

Be certain of your desire.
What you release can never be retrieved.

Then, call yourself Bold.
Say, Fare thee well,
Say, Welcome.

—Francine E. Walls

Poems by Francine E. Walls appear in the writing text, Writing Across Cultures: A Handbook on Writing Poetry and Lyrical Prose, the anthology, Peace Poets v. 2 & journals such as Pontoon, Passager, Ekphrasis, damselfly press, Avocet & Strange Poetry.  Born & raised in the Pacific Northwest, she worked for years as a college librarian and teacher.  Her blog of poems & photographs is at A Long Perspective.

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