The Sionan

for Shannan

It’s Brigit’s trees that lean over
The well, the sacred rowan,
That offer red, red berries plumped
With artistry and knowing.

It’s salmon eat the witty fruit
It’s men who eat the salmon;
On such a day they weigh this catch
Above even the mammon.

It’s men who shut the women out
It’s men who hoard the bounty,
Until the lady trekked the magic
Passage from her county.

The lady Sionan caught her fish,
Defying the convention;
The lady ate the witty fish,
Alive with outlaw tension.

It’s Brigit found her mortar,
As she’d long held back the pestle,
The bent of Sionan’s purpose
Wombed a universal vessel.

All knowledge burst out from the well,
All knowledge fully flooding,
So science, arts and law washed out
The shibboleth and mudding.

The waters bundled Sionan’s triumph,
Bundled her to ocean;
The waters lashed out like a tongue
Alive with sense and notion.

The waters settled on a bed,
The lochs and Shannon river;
They usher wit full Erie’s length,
The wider to deliver.

It’s Brigit’s trees that shed the Shannon
Freight, the sacred rowan,
Long staff of Erie’s ancient orders:
Artistry and knowing.

[Uche Ogbuji (@uogbuji) was born in Calabar, Nigeria. He lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado. A computer engineer and entrepreneur by trade, his collection of poetry, Ndewo, Colorado was published by Aldrich press in 2013. His poems, fusing Igbo culture, European Classicism, U.S. Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop influences, have appeared worldwide, most recently in String Poet, Featherlit, Qarrtsiluni, Leveler, AtavicShot Glass and Stonecoast Review. He is editor at Kin Poetry Journal and The Nervous breakdown, founder and curator at the @ColoradoPoetry Twitter project. He is also a founding member of the Stanza Massive, a small, DIY-minded group promoting members’ books of poetry, including through collaborative, multimedia experiments with their texts.]