A Desert Mirage

I let it happen
I ran to it; I stayed.

A desert mirage –
distorted those years.

concealing the tears of my heart
within the monsoon.

The locusts laughed
full of chat:

the years of fear:
it was the song of the sirens.

now: broken down and stuck,
in the hell of my own hallelujah

there is nothing in me, that moves,
but the desert calls all its babies:

with the softness of a mother’s touch
and a knowing forgiveness

of everything in between.

L.J.
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Turquoise Women

From a long line of turquoise loving women,
fiery, like opals of Mexico.
Unpolished, our souls, semi-precious,
full of narratives, to be recorded.

Red heads, educated, full of extremes and suicides,
tales of unrequited love filled my young head
igniting the story teller in me, where to start?
Where to stop? Do men get writ in?

What of the men? Grave diggers and thieves,
fed Thanksgiving dinner to the dogs to punish
mother for working that day, she didn’t like turkey,
there was never another holiday.

And what of the women that look like me, in
history, the ones I never met but cannot forget –
unphotographed, crowding my dreams, screaming
about: alcoholics, gamblers and philanderers,

a group of phenomenal women who loved turquoise,
world – I ask, ‘are you ready for the fiery souls of Mexico?’

-L.J. Lenehan-

turquoise

My Beautiful Boy

On a day in August (forget what year now) – 
you were so new, 
so beautiful.

I promised, I would always be there, for you
I dreamt of reading Dickinson, just you and me 
on an itchy blanket, in the shade, under a tree.

I knew you needed a big name – 
to match the mark you would make on the world.
I promised you the life of an artist – 

the dreamers, the laughers, the lovers,
the reminders that life is for creating.
That morning I packed you up – 

Just me and you, walked to the bus stop 
In one hundred and twenty degree heat
paid eighty cents, to meet a girl – 

I’m sure was an angel, she said, 
‘spread your wings and fly’ I laughed
but whispered it in your sleeping ear.

Determined to teach you kindness,
I thought a good heart was better than any doctor’s degree
I was young, I didn’t know the life of an artist –

Could be hardship full of mixed emotions
about a world that could be, should be, better.
Brought you home – I stayed up all night, admiring you.

Now you are bigger than me, you have your own dreams,
I pray every night they come true, for you – 
my beautiful little boy, I believe in you…

-L.J. Lenehan-

dreams

Angels

Alone in a room of two hundred, Christmas Carols play,
Saints taunt me on the wall, I sit, simulating motherhood.
Nervousness sets in, I notice the eyes of the neighbours
I told to fuck off six months ago, they would not accept
I was depressed.

Children sing, overwhelmingly loud, out of tune, I focus
on my daughter, her natural confidence reminds me of
everything I am not – I pretend a little longer, fight the
urge to crawl under pews and hide from the world because
I love her.

I admire my matching socks and think today is a good day,
I managed to brush my hair. I don’t envy the cooing couples,
the perfectly sculptured families, once I did, now I know:
it’s just life, mine is different, lonely, but it’s mine and
worth living.

– L.J. Lenehan –

My big empty heart,
marketed as a fool,
my life lost in despair.
I hoped for something different
to my mothers.

After years went by, I realised:
I have to be the change
I want to see in the world.
Compassion in my soul
got one more chance.

It has been a struggle,
lost my money,
lost my mind,
turned to alcohol,
that did not go well.

But, I found my key,
to life – stay soft,
in my heart, like a small child,
in awe of beauty, mystery, and
transform this story into a great novel.

– L.J. Lenehan –

The photo was captured by Gone-Hiking Photography:https://www.facebook.com/NatureThroughTheLens

Modern woman, follows tradition, customarily
finding a place, for everything. Hoping neighbors
don’t notice yesterday’s distressing trash.

Kept house, preventing life from being lived,
woman from evolving, walking aimlessly around
in the daytime and falling in line at night.

Realising the day has come, when memories
are lost and all the things that made her a good                                                                wife and mother are specifically missing.

– L.J. Lenehan –

A Quiet View

Weary from lack of interest in today’s activity…
My thoughts drift to the picket fence that is erected,
to separate civilization and God’s magnificent Cliff’s of Moher,
Atlantic waves rage against the cliffs six miles below,                                                       rain and wind turns my soft hair into leather whips abusing my face.
Young lovers overwhelmed by the superiority of the cliffs,
silently declare a difficulty free future,
sealing their future opportunities with a kiss.
*sigh*
Cynical thoughts are banned from this daydream.

An opening in the gates to the cliffs catches my attention,
a small sign from The Samaritans,
‘If you need help call now’
I think to myself, if someone is reading this sign,
it is already too late.

A light house behind me and the young lovers,
with a crazy old Santa standing out front, wearing a spaghetti strainer hat,
he repeats, ‘end of humanity’
mumbling in between, ‘I told you so’
I wonder what Santa might be able to tell me about my future.

A young girl of three screams with discomfort,
her mother obviously troubled tries to calm her,
extras look on with disgust.
Accusing the small child of ruining the moment,
Haughty over their entitlement to a quiet view.

Three euro to walk to the top of the light house.
I have the ability to walk, but only two euro left,
after parking and the chocolate bar I bought for energy,
to get to the top,
I consider the unreasonableness of man levying a view.

A man in a wheel chair arrives at the cliffs,
a young man and woman out of breath, from pushing him up the steep hill,
no money can pay for that man’s legs.
I think about the luxury of walking to the top,
and what it must be like to envy that basic right.

– L.J. Lenehan –

Beautiful photograph taken by : https://www.facebook.com/Blackledge.Photographs

Travelling Coach

Every window of the train was a quarter of the way down
because they do not go any further in coach.
The empty seats, ripped, covered in avocado vinyl.

On a train to Mexico City with my brother, our nanny and her daughter
they do not speak English or at least pretend not to
In order to ignore our whims.

Four of us in one car each of us in an aisle of our own,
except for the nanny and her daughter they sat together.

My brother and I wave frantically to our mother
from the inside windows of the train.
She was not looking, got in her car and drove away.

The train started to move but it did not cool the car in coach.
With no air conditioning the wind entering the moving train
splinters our skin.

A fiver between my brother and I, we agree to go to first class
and see what we can purchase.

First class is packed.
The air so cool no one seems to notice anyone else.
Shooed out after paying for two coca-colas
hot air flattens them in seconds.

Another game of eye-spy with my little eye.
Six years older than my brother I easily anticipate what he spies
but pretend not to.

The nanny and her daughter did not bring any water,
they did not need any.
My brother and I unable to speak,
not used to no air conditioning.

Flat lands of light brown, antagonizing plant life, limp white clouds, sun-burnt skies blur by.
The conductor walks into our car, looks briefly at my brother and I.
He says something in Spanish to our nanny and her daughter, they all laugh, he checks all our tickets,
quickly leaves the hot car.

The nanny and her daughter give us tuna sandwiches.
Mayonnaise soured in the heat, we ate them anyway.
Immediately sick
we puke in our aisles, permeating the car.

To avoid getting covered in puke
my brother and I move to the back of the car and share an aisle.

The nanny and her daughter rapidly talk,
our stomachs gurgle so loudly the nanny and her daughter stop talking,
they simultaneously look at us.

My brother abnormally quiet turns to me and asks,
‘What will we do when we grow up?’
‘We will hike the hills until we find our perfect adventure,’ I say, knowing he loves when I am silly.
‘Can I go as Batman?’ he asks hopeful.
‘Yeah, you can be whoever you want,’ I say.

– L.J. Lenehan –

Children’s Money

My sister-n-law gave my daughter a couple of euro for helping her mind her baby. I brought my daughter to the shop so she could buy something. She bought an ice cream and a mineral. When we got back in the car she was in the floods of tears and I asked her what was wrong. My daughter said she was upset because she spent most of her money and did not have much left. I told her I really understood how she felt.

Tooth Fairy

My daughter lost her first big tooth. This was monumental because every other tooth she has lost has fallen down the sink. This tooth however fell out in her Grandmother’s house and we were very excited to put the tooth under her pillow. Within an hour my daughter was in floods of tears. The tooth was missing!

I told my daughter not to worry about it that she could write a letter to the Tooth Fairy explaining what had happened and he would leave her a present under the pillow anyway. We forgot to write the letter! In fact we forgot to write the letter for three days.

My daughter was very sad that the tooth fairy had forgotton her. I rang her grandmother and asked her if the Tooth Fairy had left any money in her house being confused because the tooth had been lost in her house. Luckily enough the Tooth Fairy had indeed left money in her house for her.

We drove immediately to my mother-n-laws house and she told her which bed she had found the money on. My daughter and her grandmother walked down and retrieved the money. On the way back up the hall I heard my daughter ask her grandmother, ‘are you that the Tooth Fairy came and that you did not just put the money under the pillow for me?’