top of page

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

left undone.

Go ahead.

Ask for Mercy.

But I tell you —

fear it

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-

an Emperor

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







by the


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

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page