Sheila A McHugh – Jumbled Alphabet

McHugh LE P&W May 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing May 2023

Jumbled Alphabet, poems by Sheila A. McHugh

Jumbled Alphabet

An alphabet so jumbled
No words are formed.
Thoughts cavort through her confused mind.
Refuse to be engaged by
a sentence longing for expression.

She walked,
Toes tapping to a traditional tune.
Her E Flat Major feet slowed the tempo.
Each recognising the other
In this momentary interlude.

She wore green, dark green.
Complemented the greys, browns and
yellows of this rock strewn, hilly terrain.
Cloaked in the colours of winter
New life stirred.

Past ancient stone wall fences she felt
the tectonic plates of ancestry shift.
Timelines meld.
A seismic occurrence
Rocked her identity to the core.

Lost amid the over-growth of time; buried
secrets struggle to communicate.
Their message unseen, unheard
Hidden for too long
Changed who she thought she was.

Naming a Storm

Storms drip off the tongue alphabetically;
ride roughshod,
lightening speed,
whipping wind and tide.
In coastal areas
rock armour, like dominoes,

a storm rages within
my rock armour collapses too
slips into the abyss of no-name,
no coming back.
rage, a backlash to pent up emotions;
tears, of torrential proportion, unleashed.
I drowned in their saltiness

Man-made energy crushed
By falling trees.
In the avenues of power
The namers cower,
Blithely ignorant.
A storm cannot be contained by a name.

a storm rages within
gathers momentum
tired of pretend
empty words
other’s dictates
I walk in tatters
unable to be contained by who they say I am
who I say I am

Heady With Power

A viral gift
Handed to them on a platter
Like the head of John the Baptist.
Masque the truth

Herodian messiahs
Wield power
Worm their way darkly
Bobbing unhindered, unnoticed

Divide the masses
Inject them with fear
New weapon of the elite
They’ll thank us for it

Voices, masked into silence
Swallow their words.
Truth seeks expression
Through an underground network
Seeps through the eyes

Writes the inexpressible
Unveils what’s hidden
An umbra of defiance
In an opaque world

© Sheila A. McHugh

Sheila A McHugh was born on and continues to live on Achill Island. She is deeply immersed in the culture and landscape of the place that formed her. She writes to preserve and promote the rich legacy hidden in the local landscape. She also explores the human journey through image and language, in both English and Irish, in its sense of belonging/non-belonging,  which as Anne Dufourmantelle has stated, ‘language is our common memory’.  She is a published writer in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Recent publications include: Dánta in the Dark (2023), Scrimshaw Journal (2023).

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