Exposed.

EXPOSED
by Louise Gallagher

Exposed  
bare naked  limbs 
leafless  
hanging on to memory  
of a branch fallen 
against wind-worn trunk 
standing stalwart 
against time 
and weather battering 
limbs and breaking boughs 
made fragile by the wind  
blowing relentless 
through your branches 
sheltering the sap within 
that flows 
more slowly now 
with each passing season.  

I lean against your body 
scars and ridges harsh 
against my cheek. 
I too am facing
time’s relentless pull  
I whisper 
into the wrinkles etched 
upon your weathered skin. 
My body tells the same story 
of time passing 
of life lived 
sometimes walking 
with the wind 
sometimes against 
my limbs move, 
not as smoothly now, 
the bones more fragile 
able to break 
with one fall 
yet still I stand 
stalwart against time 
while inside 
the blood flows 
sluggish 
as I weather life’s journey 
leaving me exposed 
to each passing season. 

Airborne

The day she discovered her wings is the day her dreams took flight. Mixed media on canvas boar – 11 x 14″
©2021 Louise Gallagher
Airborne
by Louise Gallagher

She wandered through her days

like a leaf tossed by the wind
aimless, directionless, weightless

her heart aching
her feet leaden

tethered
to some invisible thread
of memory

caught

in the veil
of yesterdays

lying

in the darkness
of believing
she did not know
how to fly.



It’s not true. You are born to fly,
a voice deep within
 whispered

in one of those moments

when her attention
grew weary

of the world beyond
the pale
of all she could not see

in the here and now
leaving her exposed

to the exquisite mystery
of her life.



She didn’t believe it

the idea of flight

seemed too impossible
the mystery too deep.
She had feet,

not wings
she whispered back,

closing the door on chance
as she turned back into certainty.


But then, one day 
when she least expected it

she felt the urging
to stretch

beyond the realm

of her imagination

and on that day

she discovered
her wings

hiding
beneath the layers of life

hammering at her

to stay tethered

to threads of memory

keeping her tied
to life’s heavy toll.



It was that day
she discovered 
she was born to fly

and her dreams
were too.

Beautiful Tender Mercy

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Beautiful Tender Mercy
   ©2021 Louise Gallagher 

One day, when you least expect it
 you will stand at the threshold of your heart
 and hear its pounding insistence
 you step across the liminal space between not loving yourself
 and loving yourself with all your being awakened to every beat of your heart.

 In that moment, you must choose between
 staying locked in the darkness of believing your flaws and many imperfections
 are too wide and bulky to fit through the doorway to your heart
 or
 stripping away the heaviness of your belief you do not deserve your love
 because you are so imperfect and scarred and scared of loving yourself
 you will never be free of the fear of loving yourself. 

 To choose to stay locked in darkness  is easy.
 It’s the comfortable shirt you’ve worn forever.
 The one you thoughtlessly put through the washing cycle so often
 you no longer worry about putting the machine on delicate.
 You know this shirt is tough enough to take your abuse.

 But, to risk stripping away the shirt and tearing it to shreds.
 To risk standing exposed with all your scars and scared self naked 
 to the prying eyes of imperfection.

 Ah, well that is the penultimate act of courage you will ever commit.

 One day, you will stand at the threshold of your heart
 and be asked to commit to loving yourself in all your wounded, flawed beauty.

 On that day you will know the sound of freedom is not a song 
 sung by those with the courage to climb every mountain  and ford every sea.

 It is the sound of your heart falling
 deeply in love
 with the perfection of the beautiful tender mercy of being held 
 in the loving embrace of your arms wrapping themselves around your heart
 as you whisper joyfully, I Love You..

Perhaps…

 
  Perhaps 
 ©2020 Louise Gallagher
  
 In a rush to make-meaning
 in all that has happened
 in all that has gone wrong
 or right
 in all that has been lost
 or gained
 I lose
 myself
 in the desperate struggle
 to not feel
 what I tell myself
 has been lost.
  
 Perhaps in my struggle
 to make it all
 make sense
 or have a purpose
 or fit into a box
 that only I can see
 I lose sight of
 all I cannot see.
  
 Perhaps, the meaning
 is in the experience.
  
 Perhaps, the making sense
 does not make sense.
  
 Perhaps, when I allow
 the purpose of everything
 to be the experience
 of everything
 without holding on
 to it all
 without fearing
 losing
 it all
 without judging it
 good or bad
 acceptable or unacceptable
 necessary or unnecessary
 I will find myself
 in that liminal space
 where all I have
 and all I am
 and all I know
 are nothing
 more than
 all I have to let go of.
  
 And, perhaps
 when I let go
 of naming
 all I have
 all I lost
 all I won
 all I know
 I will find myself
 in all I am.
  
 Perhaps then I will experience
 the all that I am
 as the most precious gift
 of all. 

In The Dread of Winter’s Grip

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In the Dread of Winter’s Grip
by Louise Gallagher 
November 2020

An arctic wind nips
in eager expectation
of the sun’s waning light
as shadows lengthen
and geese fly south
in sisterly formation
beneath a moody November sky.

And memories of summer blooms
fade
in the lengthening shadows that herald
the approach of winter's kisses.

Silently, as vapid sunshine seeps
stealthily across the far horizon
a frosty chill descends
upon the pristine stillness
of a wintery landscape
lulled to sleep
beneath a blustery grey sky.

And the promise of spring waits
patient
deep beneath the silence of snow
falling into the dread of winter’s grip.


The Poetry of a November Sky

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The Poetry of A November Sky
by Louise Gallagher

Under a November sky
slate grey streaked with
the promise of snows yet to fly,
the river flows 
gun metal weary.

The trees bend
branches naked to the wind
that swoops down
in streams of icy persistence
from Arctic realms.

And still,nature dances
in hoar frost glory
kissing barren limbs
with shimmering finery
that sparkle like glittery stars
cast upon a velvety blanket
of leaf strewn earth
covered in autumn hues 
of red and gold and auburn.

And deep beneath the silent earth
summer flowers sleep
dreaming of spring blossoms.

Beauty flows through every season.

Enough’s Enough

Enough’s Enough

2020 Louise Gallagher

Fear lurks in darkened corners
stirring thoughts into worry.
The future seems too far away
and distant.

The memory of breath interrupts your fear.
Gasping at the truth,
you need your breath,
you breathe. Deeply.

Fear slips out on the exhale.
Love flows in on the inhale.

You breathe easy in the certainty,
this moment, right now, is enough.
This breath, right now, is enough.
This is enough to sustain you
in these uncertain times.