Fanny Howe



If yellow could whisper, it did, for fourteen days and the summer nights stayed white.
Yellow walls, yellowish faces, 119 types of white person. A glow or none
From people who walked as if in line for bread. They pushed each other.
They stamped their feet.
They believed they deserved to starve for what they hungered for.
Because they were betrayed by people just like themselves
They whited out the area around that story.
They worked together with the dictator to create a plot
That included stupidity and could be erased.
Now the walls are freshly painted yellow.
The paper has been steamed away and the stone surface re-colored.
There is a plant on every window sill like a play without words.
A woman is surprised the leaves are green since the glass is so greasy
And the curtains webbed.
But inside she might see a fire and a kettle
Steaming for tea and creamy cakes laid out for the priest.

Folklore is more authentic
Than scholarship.
And why not?
It is ruled by lawlessness.
This is as Celtic as violets
In a ring.  Myrtle of turf, light!
It only writes with manure
But thanks God for a spud.
This is folklore.
It has an ecological spirit
Leading each soul
Past bands of mercenaries.
It wrapped Jesus in a cloak
Before Jesus was born.
It cleaned the fields, the fiddles
And the houses, then drank mead.
Oak, yew and three brooks
Are its offices.
Like Bridget the saint
Of transition who ran between
Pagans and Christians
Folklore knows that saints
Canít come back but goddesses can.
There is a hole in folklore
And around the hole
Stands a thorny forest
Where Aine sings in liquid tones.
Then the interpreter steps in
And speaks through his throat
Like a gray crow, rare and cross.