Dream of a City; poem for the day


by Rose Rushe

A Local Treasure, by artist Robert Ryan
A Local Treasure, by artist Robert Ryan

RETURNING to work this Monday May 25 of 2015, three colleagues are dealing with sad and sensitive events in their individual lives.

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From Limerick City of Culture anthology, ‘Dream of a City’, this is Vivienne McKechnie’s ‘A Butterfly Wing’, a meditation on transience that hovers not in the well of dark.

Longtime linchpin to Limerick Literary Festival – The Kate O’Brien Weekend for a previous 30 years – McKechnie teaches Creative Writing at Limerick College of Further Education. Her first collection was published by Arlen House in November 2013. Its cover bears this luminously lovely nocturnal scene painted by Loch Gur artist, Robert Ryan, ‘A Local Treasure’. The flight of white moth on canvas makes for an upturned soul.


A Butterfly’s Wing

Now I linger, looking longingly at every winged being,/ Knowing the impossibility of a hug,/ Knowing the fragility of love,/ Knowing the swiftness of life’s flight.

Now, never thinking of you in the earth,/ I see you everywhere.

You, who did not lie down willingly,/ but who life took in a sudden stroke./ I, who could only stroke your hand and watch/ appalled as you slipped the noose of life/ and left me numb.

You were silent and elusive, transient/ as the butterfly which appeared at your funeral./ It rose delicately out of the lilies which adorned your coffin/ allowing me the poise and sustenance of sudden beauty to read for your departure.

Now I linger, looking longingly at the Painted Lady/ which touches the petals of the rose/ and realise that in the fragility of a butterfly’s wing/ there is strength enough to fly.


Astrolabe Press 2014