Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Poems from Asking for Directions

Slovenj Gradec is a town in northern Slovenia. The parish church in the town is dedicated to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Next to it is a Gothic chapel dedicated to the Holy Spirit with frescos dating to the mid-15th century. I visited the town as part of a European education conference in Austria some years ago before retirement. A fascinating place, there are two poems in Asking for Directions which resulted from the visit.


In the churches of Slovenj Gradec
while others admired and snapped
Baroque altar and metalwork,
fifteenth century fresco and
the shrine of Holy Elizabeth,
I knelt in the groove of thousands,
prayed for all from there to Belmullet.

At home in their foot paths,
only the language is foreign.

This is a much different Easter poem. Easter holidays was the time I usually cleaned out my shed.


Especially when cleaning out my shed
and dumping my sad, stockpiled, stores
I remember

your neat abandoned hoards – timbers,
nails, tools, assortments of essentials –

It has taken me a lifetime to discard
accumulations cached for indefinite

This Easter week I took a load of timber –
rough uprights and drilled cross pieces –
for recycling.

Each plank I flung detached a little
of you. My shed is spick and span now;
like an empty tomb.

from Asking for Directions, Michael Farry (Doghouse Books, 2012)

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