"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." ~Thomas Gray

"Poetry unites." ~Anon

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson

Written by Vona Groarke
She was born in Edgeworthstown in the Irish Midlands
Originally published in her book, Shale, The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 1994.


What leaves us trembling in an empty house
is not the moon, my moon-eyed lover.
Say instead there was no moon
though for nine nights we stood

on the brow of the hill at midnight
and saw nothing that was not
contained in darkness, in the pier light,
our hands, and our lost house.

Small wonder that we tired of this
and chose instead to follow the road
to the back of the island, and broke
into the lighthouse-keeper’s house.

We found the lower windows boarded up
and the doors held fast, but one.
Inside, we followed the drag of light
through empty rooms of magenta and sky blue.

This house has been decided by the sea.
These rooms are stones washed over by waves
and spray from the lighthouse
by which we undress

to kneel under the skylight.
Our hands and lips are smeared with blackberries.
Your skin, my sloe-skinned lover,
never so sweet, your hand so quiet.

The sea is breaking and unbreaking on the pier.
You and I are making love
in the lighthouse-keeper’s house,
my moon-eyed, dark-eyed, fire-eyed lover.

What leaves us trembling in an empty room
is not the swell of darkness in our hands,
or the necklace of shale I made for you
that has grown warm between us.

Posted with consent of the writer.


  1. christopher said...
    Wow! What a beauty this is. Excellent choice. How fortunate that Vona is a generous woman in all her ways. Thank you Vona. And thank you Madame for your diligence and worthy effort. You have impeccable taste.
    RachelW said...
    This is so beautiful! Vona, thank you for sharing it. What a wonderful read to start the day with!
    Donna said...
    I am blushing a little and feel like a voyeur, but this also takes me down memory lane when I was young, carefree, and indulged in romantic interludes with my "moon-eyed lover." :)

    Lovely poem!
    Rab said...
    This is a wonderful poem - thank you for sharing.
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    Exquisitely written with refinement and delicacy. Congratulations on a fantastic poem!
    Dreams_In_The_Distance said...
    I have just experienced "Shale" ... there is nothing cold or hard about it ... I read it through three or four times and then went back to absorb each stanza separately. I do believe I was securely fastened to your poem, so much so, that I was unable to break free from the beautiful dream I had entered. The quality of this piece is extraordinary and the writing is superior. You have left an imprint and touched a soul. Thank you for such beauty ~ Elizabeth

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