LIADHAIN

Poem By Gabriel Rosenstock

(I)
Liadhain…
Knowledge flowed between us.
I am Cuirithir.
God goes halves in me
with Liadhain

God's share
is sterile, lifeless,

Liadhain's
boils me alive

We lay together among oaks
it was like a nut being shelled
and placed in my mouth
by a creamy, invisible hand

She said nothing at all
but when she closed her eyes
she could see the sap
rising in trees,
hear the old fulfilment of branches

(II)
When she hides from me
I see her everywhere

I follow the deer's shadow
and the hawk's
her absence flits among the oaks

(III)
When she wakes in the morning
I look deep into her eyes

She is a well
that reflects me

I drink of myself

(IV)
She is all winds,
the middle of all seas -

Everything that moves
and does not

She is a change in season,
all the months of the year

She is day and night,
night and day

(V)
Sleep now, sleep! Sleep, Liadhain,
on your mossy pillow, sleep easy …

If I could, I would dive far into your sleep,
to be forever, bright one, part of your dream.
In the middle of the forest, the boar is restless,
but sleep now, easy in yourself

(VI)
Look! Liadhain in the pool,
swimming on her back
mirabile visu -
she is moon,
a star-filled storm
Christ, do not approach me.
Virgin Mary, avert your eye

(VII)
My prayers
don't go
anymore
to God
Liadhain, Liadhain,
on the tip of my tongue

(VIII)
Her shape in the clouds,
her laugh between showers,
the rainbow
her soul's colours

(IX)
My beloved is dazzling.
I'm like a hedgehog
waking too early on a spring morning
light hurts my eyes

(X)
A waterfall thunders far off
without pause
there's no relief
from the way things are
my words are foam
in air
taste it

(XI)
‘Liadhain! Liadhain!' murmurs the dark river,
‘Liadhain!' calls the cuckoo in the valley
the plump salmon shouts out ‘Liadhain!'
‘Liadhain! Liadhain!' cries the slender doe

(XII)
Breezes comb her dewy hair.
I am envious of elements

(XIII)
But an icy blast rose,
uprooting the oaks
the blackbird's whistle froze in its beak
all the waves of Ireland wailed

(XIV)
My own self I had lost,
lost Liadhain and her merrymaking
Christ bared his wounds -
for me, also, He was crucified

(XV)
On this, my slab of supplication, Liadhain will perish,
and I in unknown territories

(XVI)
Dear God! Bring us together again
Couple us - I beg you - for just one night
in the splendid Paradise of saints

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