The Saturday poem: Sky Woman

A new poem by Paddy Bushe

Paddy Bushe

Paddy Bushe


for Aya Takagi

She walks the sky, and combs the clouds for stars
Where there are none, because she’s always yearned
For things that lie behind the things that are.

She loves to feel the earth, to walk the paths
Her people walk. But she was also born
To walk the sky and comb the clouds for stars.

A harebell’s chime, a rowan’s sudden flare,
She reads as signals that it’s time to turn
Towards paths that lie beneath the paths that are.

The villagers have mapped the paths that mark
The routes for trade. Now only she discerns
The skyward paths that comb the clouds for stars.

She knows by heart the heavy laws they’ve carved
Deep into stone slabs. But she has also learned
The law that came before the laws that are.

And secretly she hoards an ancient shard
Of law inscribed upon a shattered urn:
Go walk the sky, go comb the clouds for stars,
And seek what lies beyond the things that are.

Paddy Bushe won the Irish Times Poetry Now award in 2017 for his collection On a Turning Wing (Dedalus Press)