2 poems by David L O’Nan: Those Hazels, They Slice & Living in This Toxic Coalmine

First published in Icefloe Press https://icefloepress.net/two-poems-david-l-o-nan/

Those Hazels, They Slice

Remembering, those memories
Before the seclusion
To memories of you,
Somehow you made it from Limerick to Lane Fork
A creek full of snakes
They intrigued you to say
More snakes than angels here
Then you laughed
Níos mó nathracha ná aingil anseo
In our early twenties with hazels that wondered

Remembering, for many months
Trying to catch the butterfly
To dance with before the thunder bled on us
I had you within sight,
You were a millennial hippy in bellbottoms on Thursdays
By Friday you were vintage chic in a La Mendola dress
I’d long for you while hearing Sarah’s song playing in my head
Sharon from the Vampire Killers,
Your passion was to be Sharon from the Valley of the Dolls
And you, you drifted with hazels that sliced

Now we are children of 27.
You the Irish starlet searching for the dream
Stuck with a follower in love, a boy created in the dirt of the Midwest
Gravel chaffing your boho chick boots
We have to keep moving to keep your mind still
From Nashville to Kansas City to Yokohama for a week
We bled money from mud caves to gold mines
Until we shelved ourselves and began to pity as rats –
On the skim of the raising floods of New Orleans
The comedy of fools we entered drunk for many years
And your hazels lined with red in the castle of your soul

Twenties to Thirties,
Drinking and falling deeper to the sins
In passions you ran away,
I lay dire as the lone wolf
And still give you chance after chance
Dreaming of our rainjackets clashing on Toulouse
Wasting away in the downpours,
Our shoes getting stuck in sewer grates
Where are you now?
To new protectors, to new thieves
To talent scouts on Magazine Street
Your hazels looked to me and you say
sorry, no more kisses. I have to say goodbye
brón orm, gan póga níos mó. Caithfidh mé slán a fhágáil
What a tease as I fall to a prayer

Memories aren’t easy in the Big Easy in a lockdown
Coltrane’s “Blue Train” is growing more static and hisses
I just see those hazels, slice and say goodbye
Like your dizzy wake-ups before you drink your first drink
This song plays me like a straitjacket
And I dream of escaping on a ferry boat and hiding away
To one day escape your eyes and fall into the waters that’ll sway –
Sway me back to my youth and the worries I did not have.
The memories are my seizures
To my madman bones melted into your old Mahogany chair

Are you in your destiny,
Are you in love
Are you protected from the diseases,
Have the diseases took your identity
Has your fashion turned to rags
Have your men gone from Polanski to a black & white photo of our past
Are you enfolded to someone to cling to in the dying days of sunsets?

I’m not sure I can move past those hazels that sliced
Not knowing is just as bad as ever having you around.
The ashes spit down from the attic. The dust settles down my feet
It all becomes a haven for the depression to circulate within me.
And I whisper to myself, as if I were talking to the memory of you like a ghost.
to live alone, I don’t really know if I can. Without you, can I?
le maireachtáil liom féin, níl a fhios agam an féidir liom. Gan tú, an féidir liom?

Living in this Toxic Coalmine

There are fields that no one wants to breathe
There is a reality in which we cannot be

I wait for you to heal, as you wither like the sand
I wait for your angels to come by and build a temple with your hands

You’ve breathed in the blackest of beasts
That smother the air within the flow of these demons

Within our heart is little shards of twisted quartz
The crystals that cut through like minuscule crowns

The devil’s wind rips at the brim of my hat
I’ve got old souls dancing and trying to read the word to me

They know I’m no longer feeling human, I’m becoming a wooden boy
Talking like a stranger, fumbling sickly with his oil can toy.

Diseases like loves are just the flesh of charred whispers
Both feel the burns to the pores.
Sunlight can only wave in the hope to our deepest core

We’re tired of this burning, these shovels
The mouthing rambles of some fake heroes

Broken nose old men become experts at living
As they work on that same carburetor in that ‘95 Ford Taurus every day.

The sunshine has browned the roots of the grasses.
The heat has freckled me to the bones.

Through a life worth living we’ve all felt the worst grief
Some predators and sinners drink in to become their personalities
They’ve watched as the women weathered all the pedals
Under the icy stares from the devil in their men.

The minds that we all see as windows
Always think that they are invisible

The blackest of beasts may not be a pandemic
But the beasts that walk within one’s nerves, flesh & mind.
The darkness of the coal-seam fires
Leave the purity of what is underground to rise up to murder our hope

The mines are vibrating to combustion
The little stones quiver around my pulse
The pulsating veins quake like that bituminous coal
The canary flew in to sit on the wall just to become a wooden body.

The self-igniting madness of families severed by the greed
A pandemic could have been tamed
The spreading of ashes just splintered our breathing, and left us leathering.

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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