Original poetry by Gwynn O’Gara


The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible

The grandmothers came to me on the wind

the furious wind from the west they came

from the sun as I rocked and rocked

beneath the sky the sky of one color

pale as my baby’s skin and as bright

I saw them and heard them as I rocked

and rocked for dear life coming out of me

coming down slowly out of me as I rocked

back and forth back and forth as he pushed

out of and back into me out of and back into me


The grandmothers came to me and whispered

Breathe Rock Wait Open

they came with the wind out of the sun

they came from their cave hidden in time

from their procession down to the sea

where they prepared me years before in dreams


They came and brought strength and peace so I

could rock into the dusk and on into the darkness

rocking and breathing and fighting the peaceful way

to let my baby deliver himself to me from his cave

their cave that is endless and built of moons


I rocked and I rocked and the grandmothers

came to me and whispered their words of power

to help me through the long disengagement of my son

on wheelchairs cornstalks mops and meteorites

they traveled and turned through the white sky


They gathered around my head in whorls of cooling

fire and they gave me water from the sun that

burned me cool and they took from me my

separateness no longer—not ever—would I be

sola and they eased me open to let out my son


So I rocked forward to become a mother

and backward to join them the ancient ones

holders of life bringers of life

© Gwynn O’Gara. Published in Calyx, Know Me Here, An Anthology of Poetry by Women

The riddle of emptiness

See above. And below.



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