Once We Knew The Dark, by pd lyons; Cúirt Annual 2005 version



Once We Knew the Dark

No matter where days may differ but darkness is the same.

What if I lead you by the mouth?

Places underwater you could breathe in

Fingers taught on instruments stranger than bones

Drawn by strings reminiscent of words long ago

Familiar colours since extinct.

When winter was all there was could you find reasons to celebrate?

No matter how elaborate windows intricate trees harmonic songs

What does it take to lure a silver sun?

Bleaktitude chased

Hot whiskey voices

Oak wood smoke

CúirtRed berry holly

Slender secret ghosts vulnerable to love.

If it were long ago and my name was Jesus

Would you change your name for me?

Would you be my Mary?

I have become food for other creatures

Things I never knew existed indulge themselves in me

Grey not white birds mark my passing secret self

No evidence during that time of my existence

Yet even so something still remains:

A dying ember tenderness unquestioned.


Drawn to the wound in you moon strong as my own

A thing to be fingered or fucked a place to meet or loose ourselves.

What makes me want to reach in wonder what shape your creatures take as I do?

Unlike them others, reverse rodents unable to stay,

I’m not afraid. I know nothing survives the future.

Why wait for secrets? When we forget enough we die.




for: Loretta ’73



West47 was a print magazine published by the Galway Arts Centre. they were very kind to me during the few years that we knew each other. they had an annual anthology in which poets previously published during the year were eligable to have work selected. the annual  would then be released as part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature . Once We Knew The Dark, was a poem i wrote in 1972-3. a litany of re-dit and streamlining around an essentially pristine theme, the core of which remains unchanged 30 odd years on. i really liked the work it took to make this and was very pleased to see it in print. a high school muse on many a math class afternoon, Loretta, as i have mentioned previously, was and is true cool.


with wings

Cúirt International Festival of Literature:


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