Colette Nic Aodha – Secret Dreams

Profile Colette Nic Aodha Live Encounters Poetry & Writing 8th Anniversary December 2017

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Secret Dreams, poems by Colette Nic Aodha

Colette is an award winning poet who resides in Galway in the West of Ireland. She writes in both Irish and English. She has fourteen publications which include a volume of short stories, Ádh Mór, as well as an academic study of the blind poet Anthony Raftery, an 18th century bard whose songs and poems are still recited and sung today. She has one volume of English poetry, Sundial, which was published by Arlen House Press, She also has two dual language collections of poetry by the same publisher; Between Curses: Bainne Géar , and In Castlewood: An Ghaoth Aduaidh. Her work is on the syllabus in Primary, Secondary and Third Level colleges. Colette’s latest collection (bilingual) is titled Bainne Géár: Sour Milk, which is available in hardback and softback, published by Arlen House, 2016. : Colette is pursuing postgraduate studies in the English department of NUI Galway; she also has a master’s degree in modern Irish.  ‘Magyar Dancer’ is her forthcoming collection of English poetry.

Secret Dreams 

My lips with gentle kisses you trace
this dream of you when alone in my bed,
longing to wake up in your embrace.

Your tenderness gives my heart solace
weaving mythical worlds, we bonded,
my lips with gentle kisses you trace.

Touching me softly you lead me to your palace
of orchid, orange blossom and fireweed,
longing to wake up in your embrace.

Your sweet tenderness restores my peace,
how could imagined sin feel so blessed?
my lips with gentle kisses you trace.

I take this unravelling heart of lace
And place it at your feet; it needs to be mended,
Longing to wake up in your embrace.

Soul to soul, skin to skin I place
flower petals on your chest, beloved,
my lips with gentle kisses you trace,
longing to wake up in your embrace.

Making Shapes in Words

(after painter and poet David Jones)

Solemn chuckles, in parenthesis,
bloody heroics of poppies replace dreams,
foxes and birds of battle scrape the dark.

Jingoism creates its own make shift crosses,
palette for copper, wood or paper,
high pitched screech of shrapnel shell.

Coerced to paint silence behind trees, slay demons;
the other side of windows shaped branches and twigs
for brush and page…..

I have to write monsters in words,
trace veins of fiends with pencil or ink.
Sometimes charcoal from the burnt embers of fallen dreams

adds weight to paper.

Forget order, colour padlocks on foreheads
put breasts on doors, turn ciphers inside out,
silence the light, paint the past in shadows,
crowd life with afterlife, water grand illusions…
Threads of time fading…
Briefly…… Heart imitates mind.


This poem is for you
but I really cannot commit
to writing your name
in black newsprint
to disguise the fact
that this poem
is for you.

Perhaps if I had a clear
notion, as it were,
that you might have
even a slight inclination
towards this poem,
not to mention this poet,
I would shout from
the top of the tallest horse chestnut,
a tree endowed with magic power,

but as it stands
there are no leads
as to where your heart rests
on this matter.
So just act
as if this never happened,
because there is little chance
of you ever uncovering
this most heartfelt dedication.

Leaving High Kings

On the crossing from the fortress of Laoghaire
son of Niall Naoi nGiallach or Niall of the Nine
Hostages, brother of Cairbre-
I struggle with alliteration
in our native languages.

Searching for strains of ancient chivalry
as we close in on Cymru;
a host of modern motorways
instead of firey red dragons battling
the knight of Y Gododdin
or Ambrosius Aurelianus,
as visualized by Gildas.

Scrutinizing landscape for any trace
of Bedwyr from Pa Gur Yv Y Porthaur
who returned Excalibur to its rightful lady,
night sky is diluted pots of Indian ink,
and I dream of carpet the colour of sunflowers.

© Colette Nic Aodha