An alloy of seven metals,
the ting of a Tibetan singing bowl
reaching a celestial tone –
I use stones, the earth’s bones,
no matter if they’re rough or polished,
I like their disparate aspect,
they are my jewels and my tools.
Fierce Hecate, I’ll add eyes of falcon
to my Gundestrup cauldron
to balance your energies.
Open your mouth: there is a geode
stuck in your throat, strata of inhibitions
hindering your speech, absorbing
you like an abnegating cancer.
A sunstone to disperse depression,
a calcite for your lack of creativity,
a celestine to cure your inner child.
Minerals also mirror beauty’s prism:
a pyramid of Himalayan salt is doomed to dissolve,
a sodalite is a small supernova,
an agate moss is mottled like a blue cheese,
rock crystals are serrated teeth reflecting
a broken smile and a mutilated smoked
quartz is a man damaged by a shell.
Still perplex? What are these trinkets on you?
An aquamarine ring given by your boyfriend
to guide you during your unremitting journeys?
A chased mermaid bubbling a piece of turquoise
on a silver necklace crafted by your mother
for your graduation ceremony? You see,
we all have small rituals, geologic cuddly toys.
THE VIA APPIA CATACOMBS
Back to the womb –
Miles of bee hives,
for the underworld
sealed with mortar.
Depictions of Ichtys,
Christ or anchors,
the Alpha and Omega
of the resurrection kit.
Renate is your name,
yet this is your birth
to eternal pain. Poor
servant, you trusted Saint
Petronilla to protect you.
This is a religion for slaves,
martyrs and moisture,
so you are just a wrathful
Minotaur condemned to wander
in this subterranean maze.
Copyright © Julie Irigaray 2016
Julie Irigaray's publications include Southword and Envoi and others are forthcoming in Tears in the Fence and the Three Drops from a Cauldron autumn anthology. She has been recently shortlisted for The London Magazine Poetry Competition 2016 and her translations from French have appeared in literary magazines. After living in the south-west of France, Paris, Dublin, London and Bologna, she currently trains as a literary translator in Dublin.