Sadhbh Speaks

Golden tresses spill, a cascade of sun-soaked tears,
And you await homecoming, forever at the threshold of the world.
In the song of silent empty hands, you grieve alone.

The waterfall roars your screams from world to world,
A thousand tumbled beads still rippling with the shimmers of last light’s touch,
Golden tresses spilling a cascade of sun-soaked tears.

I wept such tears once, as the eagle flew far beyond the sky,
Before shadows eclipsed an abandoned sun, or my screams died in singing silence.
If only I’d awaited homecoming, forever at the threshold of the world.

Dear hearth-daughter I never knew, we keen for our deer ones the same.
If you turned just once to look behind you, would you know me by my sad doe eyes?
Your family aches to fill your empty hands with love. There is no need to grieve alone.


Photo from Jane Dougherty’s now quite past poetry challenge from way back on the first of June. Check out her blog and all the entries which made it both on time and in the official round-up, Silent Cascade Poetry Entries. We were supposed to use the above poetry form and the words cascade, eagle, tresses, abandon, and rippling. This poem has been in my head in several different versions for the past two weeks but I have fallen seriously behind in all things blogospheric (yes, that’s a real word … starting now!) I’ll keep attempting to catch up again.


8 thoughts on “Sadhbh Speaks

    1. Thank you, Jane. I’m not sure what came first, me reading your description of the painting or the scene that almost instantly materialized in my mind already complete and very vivid, and it answered all the questions you were asking. 🙂 Niamh was in the scene too, standing at the edge of a waterfall staring out at the horizon, and the golden glints in her hair and the way it was flowing behind her mirrored the way the light was reflecting off the waterfall. Sadhbh was looking at her with compassion out of the eyes of the deer who was wanting to get close enough to be comforting, but too shy as a deer to do it. So I wrote what I saw from Sadhbh’s point of view and understood when I did that how the scene simultaneously shifted into sharing something about the story of what happened to Sadhbh herself. The two women had such similar sorrow, and neither knew how to share it. I tried capturing all of that in a few words, it took me quite a few tries! 🙂 And it was interesting to see all of those connections depicted in the myth version of what happened. It wouldn’t surprise me if myths like these ones end up being as much of a help to the people they’re about as they are to the people who read them. Facts can sometimes be so much harder to handle or process without metaphors in which to carry them.

  1. You and me both, Éilis! I hope that means things are moving ahead for you in an exciting and positive way. Your poem is absolutely beautiful, btw.

    1. Thank you, Ali! I have a lot going on, but nothing solid materializing. A lot of possible opportunities which are remaining in their possibilities. Taking one step at a time, even though usually I’m really, really scared, doing what I can, and waiting to see what works out.

  2. Such a lovely poem, Eilis! I’m sorry I’m so late to the comments, this somehow slipped past me in the notifications. However, I’m really glad I got to read it – such beautiful imagery.

    1. Thank you, Helen! It’s been so hard to keep up with blogging myself, my posts and other people’s. I’m more than a week behind, which is so overwhelming!

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