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The Colours Of The Irish Flag

Stephen Morrissey
From:   The Vehicule Poets_Now). ed. Tom Konyves and Stephen Morrissey. The Muses' Company, Winnipeg, 2004


If I believed in death
I'd give up now,

the ground an envelope
in which our bodies will lie

until our souls are sent
to heaven, hell, or nowhere at all-

we did not meet
to be torn apart so soon,

that is the cry of lovers
heard across a green field.

If love is not for
a dozen lives to come,

the infinity of time unfolding,
the sky darkening over fields,

each moment a green
eternity celebrating love;

in an ancient manuscript,
two lovers drawn in the margin

and our names
placed side by side…

oh, hold me close
in the cold green dawn.


This is the sheet of paper,
a flag of surrender,

this is newly fallen snow
and we are walking across it,

a field with a few
straggly black trees

on the horizon
where a white

sky meets the white
field of snow-

and I am carrying
a white flag:

why a white flag?
why surrender?

I am not one
to surrender,

I am one to fight,
struggle, wave the flag

with its green
white and orange.

Now we are arriving
in the new world;

ships full
of quarantined men,

women and children
wait off Grosse Ile;

they have not surrendered
in their flight

from famine;
they have not traveled

five thousand miles
only to die

when they should
embrace a new life.

This is a white sheet of paper,
words scrawled on

the page become this poem:
I will not surrender,

the flag I carry
is for life and love.


When a man and woman marry
their tears become one,

tears of sorrow,
tears of joy;

without love
there is only

the growing distance
between sun and moon

until the earth
falls into darkness.

The sun is weak
when summer ends,

then, predictably, leaves fall
and days grow shorter.

Those who join in union
become two people sailing

on a wooden ship
into an orange sunset,

a million gold coins
dancing on the water's

surface, the gold light
disappears in minutes…

tears of sorrow,
tears of joy.

Stephen Morrissey's works copyright © to the author.

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