Maria Gornell

Save the bluebird

Bukowski recites in my dreams
“there’s a bluebird in my heart
That wants to get out”
I know exactly what he means
As your cold eyes size me up,
And you pour liquor on promise
Then blow out a flame ignited.
You invade my dreams
With cryptic codes of
Mathematics of love
Imploring me to find a key
Unlocking treasure you buried
Long ago so deep.

I replace your bottle
With heart safely tucked
Between cracks and barbed wire
Waiting for skin to shred,
We make footprints our destiny
Before the tide washes us away.

I awaken to the suffocated
Song of a bluebird,
Pleading to be freed.
You lick the neck of bottle
Utter something crude
Your fans lap it up
Others leave in disgust
While I sing softly
For the bluebird
To be freed..

The blues

Open mic night
Singing the blues
In hushed whispers
Fiery lines flickering
Through mist and fog
Summer madness thick
Drenched in river songs
Inner city blues pouring
Forth humble faces turned
Towards lost infinite elation.

Audience participation needed
Raising laughter and elevation
Towards lost dreams transcending
Laughter our medication,
Visuals of dancing figurines
With 5 rhythms healing psyche,
Like sirens chorus for lost love
Political apathy and decriminalisation
Of drugs, drink, smoking and whores.

Singing working class
Middle class
Under class blues
Coke head snorts grimace
Stuttering over words,
Outside smokers laugh
Exchanging stories and hearts
On sleeves in desperation
For something more than
9-5 days and couch potato existence.

I stare down the bohemian street
Ostracised as smoker yet bringing
Us closer in unity one spirit
Poetry in motion mind bending
As heavens open with rain
And I forget to howl..


Just lately I was reminded of you,
Pondering were you ever written about
In precious loving verse,
Or just a lonely spirit who’s middle name
Same as mine – proud struggle
My last remaining memory
Ashes to ashes dust to dust
As you were laid in cold dark ground..

A tall well dressed man stood
In distance watching with sadness
Paying last final goodbye,
We never did find out who he was?
I just 11 years old; head in clouds
Dreamed up fantasies of lost love,
Why didn’t anyone ask him
“who are you”
My mother later returning
To find a single red rose
Mysteriously laid amid the wreaths,
Did he also write you poems?

Burnt to ashes among the pictures
Furniture and grand piano for fuel,
In fires that couldn’t afford coal,
Empty bare cupboards of food
Treasured possessions lost to pawnbroker,
Yes struggle was a concept you know well,
Coming from Dublin 9 siblings,
Who left you to rot?
Red nights in light casting devils disgrace
On a woman desperate to simply
Survive mother of child born in work house
Cleaning up others shit..

I remember the beauty forgotten in pictures
Your smile, egg custard and apple pie,
The smell of lavender in bedroom
Mixed with moth balls in wardrobes
The pictures of Jesus hanging everywhere
God fearing and superstitious
Curse inflicted on Irish immigrants,
Taking solace in ‘Kevin Barry’ songs
Sang with all your might,
As the whiskey poured in dead of night..

Did anyone ever call you
Sweet Josephine whispering forever
In young eager ears,
I never knew
Maybe the well dressed man
Could tell a tale or two..

© 2008 Maria Gornell.

One Response

  1. I stare down the bohemian street
    Ostracised as smoker yet bringing
    Us closer in unity one spirit
    Poetry in motion mind bending
    As heavens open with rain
    And I forget to howl..

    very Ginsberg… loved it…

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