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Bernadette O'Riordan


Cork, Ireland

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God - Through The Eyes Of A Child.


Bernadette O'Riordan

The God of my childhood
Had thick soft veins
On his hands.
I pressed them fondly
With tiny fingers
>From the refuge of
My Gods lap.

This to me was
The security blanket of babes
Loving arms around me
My fleeting childhood encounter
Of the parental love
My father gave.

The God of my childhood
Was a weak man
A drunk
A violent paradox.
The God of my God
Was alcohol.

Fiercely I loved him
In an unconditional
Unquestioning way
Only a child can.

One day I awoke
My God was gone.
All that remained
Was a Godless hell.
Yet hell itself
Cannot scorch the soul.

What Would I Write


Bernadette O'Riordan

That stranger, my pen
Is calling out to me.
What would I write
If not reams upon reams
About you?
I would write about
The tunnel's end
The radiant light
The freedom.
I would write about
Release from bondage
The bondage of your broken soul.
I would write about
scented baths
Soothing candlelight
Summer days
And poetry.
Beautiful thing that saved me
>From insanity's grasp.
I would write about
Love and loyalty
Friendships and compassion
All are a celebration
Of who I am.
All are lost
To you forever.

Tribute To The Therapist


Bernadette O'Riordan

I am here because I rage inside
Yet why, I do not know.
Take time, feel safe to be here
And let those memories flow.
So later I browse a dictionary
Because "Safe" is an alien word
And she is safety personified
It hits me like a sword.
So I introduce a part of me
I wanted her to meet.
A shamed and lonely 8-year-old
Confused, who walked the streets.
The child could not stay home you see
The pain there was too much.
She did not understand some things
Like her absolute terror of touch.
Her heart, her eyes, they bled and wept
She wished she could not feel.
Was everybodys house like this?
It just seemed so unreal.
For the first time in her adult life
This "Child" had one who cared
Who laughed with her
Who raged with her
When her 8-year-old soul was bared.
The journey is a long one
There were tears, fears and pain.
She said "I'll be here with you"
I will ease the weight of your pain.
Of course I waited for the catch
I felt there would be some clause.
Instead in a lavender scented room
I found who "I" really really was
The 8-year-old had a lot to say
That had waited for so long.
She needed desperately to be heard
And more so, to belong.
That nurturing came from a human being
Not a God, not a queen or a spell.
Just one being reaching anothers pain
With care from a soothing well.
My 8-year-old lies peacefully now
Forever within my being.
Heard, validated, her voice returned
Never to be silenced again.
And from the lavender scented room
I knew I could make it alone
With friends to support
The days that were tough
And as always, there was Joan.

There are no "Goodbyes"


Bernadette O'Riordan

I still crave your love
Like a woman possessed
I would still walk in the pain
That shadowed your broken wing
That broken wounded wing
Hurt you more than anyone
It took away your light
And left you in darkness
I spent a lifetime
Willing it to heal
A Doctor
A God
A miracle
Anything that would
Bring us close
Nothing came
Just pain
You were lost to me forever
I thought
A yearning fulfilled
I loved you completely
For the last thirteen days
Of your life
I am so grateful we got that time
It was the healing of your broken wing
You helped me to enter this world
I helped you to leave it
Such beauty and devastation
The paradox in that privilege
Ties that bind us are strong
None so strong
As the love of a child
For a parent
For what begins in the womb
Refuses to end with the closing
Of the tomb
Je reconnais tout vous avez souffri.
Je suis si désolé que vous n'avez pas été cru.
Je vous crois la mère.
Dormir paisiblement maintenant.