Sara Berkeley was born in Dublin in 1967 and graduated from Trinity College in 1989, after which she wandered somewhat aimlessly round the globe for a while pretending she had a plan. She finally settled in a rural valley just northwest of San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and young daughter.
Her poetry collections are Penn (Dublin, Raven Arts Press/Canada, Thistledown Press, 1986); Home Movie Nights (Raven Arts Press/Thistledown Press, 1989); Facts About Water, New and Selected Poems (Dublin, New Island Books/Canada, Thistledown Press/Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, Bloodaxe Books, 1994); and Strawberry Thief (Oldcastle, Co Meath, The Gallery Press, 2005).
I wish you would come now —
before the long days, the evenings
receding in a fearful, breathless hush
of heat and falling suns, laying the layers
of day before they sleep,
grudging even the flimsy dusk
that billows with a sigh from my
turned head, and, brazen,
showing their true colours at five
I wish you would
bring the round music, thought and vision,
full circle of your name.
Long vowel annunciation that takes plenty of time
rolling from a mountain top
gathering with it all the consonants of dust and snow,
the fresh forked prints of deer
leaving the clay bright in their tracks
wet prints of panic or a near miss —
the shot that sends your name in avalanche
down quick winter slopes
crushing the buried gorse, spurting echoes
in episodes from the mountain sides;
and when you come,
we will scale the fissures of no man’s season.
Seems like this day is winding on and on,
shedding things as it goes
down towards night.
is pouring out of crevices,
when I go out the heavy boughs
bunch their blossom into tight fists,
hailing down the mouth of earth.
I am asking green to heal me,
or in some gesture
mutely to acknowledge me,
but the wind is changing colours
back and forth, somehow preserving purity of green,
on the top, and on the underside, green closing her throat
to my tentative desires.
Am I not worth that one sign?