Donations are essential to keep Write Out Loud going    


It was the copper-green crust on 

salt fingers that hinted

the well was dry.

It had been months, years even,

of arid unconscious blessings.

A ritual, like the quick of bitten nails,

formed in the dousing of us weans.


It had been our mother’s blessing, 

foreheads drenched on each departing. 

Her three fingered aspergillum

observed from the flickering neon.

Blessing us all out, she’d sleep light

to roll-call us all safely back home.


It had been that holy font

she’d gifted to our new home. 

A lone sentry on reverent duty 

that our kids debunked.

No more than a mild curiosity,

to dunk, like their belief.

Just not too deep.


It was her rosary, silvered black, 

clasped on her mortal hands, that ended

this mother’s prayer.

It was months, years even,

before I’d the strength to dip back. 

By then, the font was bone dry.  

Long been emptied of her.


On Water ►


Profile image

Ciaran Cunningham

Wed 22nd May 2024 14:50

@gregfreeman thank you for that lovely comment, that is a huge compliment.

Profile image

Greg Freeman

Tue 21st May 2024 08:15

Magnificent poem. I promise not to mention Heaney too many times when I comment on your work. But I hope you take it as a true compliment.

Profile image

Ciaran Cunningham

Mon 20th May 2024 21:39

@rosegcasserley thank you for the welcome and your kind comment.

Rose Casserley

Mon 20th May 2024 19:19

Hi Ciaran and may I also welcome you to what you correctly describe as a great site which it is

Really fab poem-God bless your Mum

Rose 💋

Profile image

Ciaran Cunningham

Sun 19th May 2024 17:46

@grahamsherwood - thanks Graham, I've been looking for a decent poetry blog for some time. Glad I found WOL.

Profile image

Ciaran Cunningham

Sun 19th May 2024 17:45

@keithjeffries - thanks for the very kind comment. I also was an altar boy and as my mother was quite religous, it does pop up all over my writing. Glad you enjoyed it.

Profile image

Graham Sherwood

Sun 19th May 2024 15:15

Very accomplished first write on WOL Ciaran. Well done and welcome.


Profile image

keith jeffries

Sun 19th May 2024 14:39

Welcome to WOL Ciaran,
a poem with a rich and personal vocabulary. I wonder how many readers know what an ' aspergillum' is? As an altar boy I remember when the old Latin Mass began with the asperges. Your poem also has a nostalgic quality as your recall your mother, a devout soul. My mother in law says one or two rosaries every morning before breakfast. A poem I throroughly enjoyed reading. Thank you for this,

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message