National Poetry Month Feature: Christine O'Leary
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
Give us this Day...
It’s a question of Mercy - its very shape
and form- that which strips branches
and kills quick. That kind of Mercy.
The kind that takes no quarter
but uses you up the first time
then makes you do it
Is that the kind of mercy we want?
It’s the kind that forces you to lower your fist- to
shatter the chair… The sort that makes you fall
to the floor with grief.
The kind that gives you the courage
to drop that first shovel-full of dirt.
Do we need that kind of mercy?
It’s is the sound of a room with all breaths held.
The thrust of a clean blade. Mercy is not the shake
that leaves you hysterical after the words you hold back…
It’s the thing you fear most. Mercy is the agony of a deed
Ask for Mercy.
But I tell you —
the way you do a famine
or a slow fire.
The Wisdom of Delilah
Pillows breed strange revelations, ones
I would not be caught
undressed in. One never enters a bed
Truth cannot be your blanket- it is sheer and
heavy, weighs down the body. It lets in the cold
and rain and the eyes of predators- both simple
and complex. To be garbed
with truth makes you foolish like royalty-
wearing his kingdom’s fortune
with pride. Love plays
these games, they're called: find the innocent- then we All
S c a T t e r - Marco
Caught by the hair- dragged before jackals in iron mail
Love's fool pride leading man before vanity's precipice.
Samson deserved to lose his eyes.
Christine O'Leary is a philosopher, poet and artist whose life and work take her between Harrisburg, York, and Baltimore. Her work hovers between the immediate and the esoteric, the magical and material. Her upcoming collection, Things Women Know, is a strong feminine follow-up to her previous, Three Faces of Brahma. You can often find her cavorting and reading in Midtown, while her visual art and functional sculptures can be viewed and purchased at the King's Courtyard Artist Collective in York.
Find her on IG @christine_oleary_
Find her website at https://christineolearyrockey.com/