‘Bittern Cry’ by Fergus Hogan
Our sensibility recognizes the divine in Nature and Ceremony. With vision and voice, Fergus Hogan’s lyrics intensify the connection and set it afire.
Three Stones for a Decision there’s a path through the woods round the lake where I pray that I take when I’m feeling low down the summer I left I went to the edge and sat there alone every day just me the fox and the moorhen we’d watch the sun rise from the shoreline beyond and ripple its way across water till it kissed every stone on the shoreline this side and they glistened red-gold-n-amber till the sun rose so high it heated the sky and the earth and the waters too and the fox bowed its head and returned to the woods and the hen went back to the reeds and I sat alone betwixt and between the trees and the water still my decision as clean as three stones
Shelter When I need shelter, I return to the church Dip my fingers by the door in cold holy water Genuflect deeply before a golden tabernacle Kneel down-hard on old oak pews and inhale Church polish, candle wax, frankincense. Listening to Childhood memories, close as whispers in dark confessionals I rang the bell to begin mass and the bell for consecration I listened to tired priests chanting on dark early mornings And the chatter of old women after. Once a year on Christmas Eve I cried with the beauty of angels singing: Gloria in excelsis Deo I still weep on Good Fridays when I feel the fear of shame Fall at the back of churches on men’s bent heads like mine My God, My God why have you forsaken me? My God, My God hear my prayers as I cry out to you
Crow Magic Now, I feed my worries to the crows having learned how to live in nature’s cycles I plant my troubles in seeds that I’ve gathered in warmer times I place them on branches, cracks and cervices, of dead old trees and hidden thin-spaces that miss the company of birds, and song a gift from me to them, and they come black–feathered, black–winged, black–beaked sharp–tongued they descend in raucous mourning and take them all away from metransmuted my beautiful flock of silver eyed friends my funeral of sin eaters.
Fergus Hogan lives and works in Waterford, Ireland, where he lectures full-time in systemic family therapy and narrative and storytelling therapy at Waterford Institute of Technology. His main research and publications are in the area of men’s lives and fatherhood.
His first novel The Wisdom of Fionn is a retelling of a well known Irish legend which explores men’s lives and masculinities through a lens of Celtic Spirituality, Storytelling and Mythology. It has been serialised and shared for free, a chapter a day, during the stay home stay safe time on his publisher’s Facebook page @Book Hub Publishing.
His poems have been published in the Irish Times and various anthologies. His spoken-word poem “Consent” took first prize in Waterford’s inaugural spoken word and slam poetry competition in 2018.
His first chapbook of poems, Bittern Cry, was published in November 2019. It is available for sale online from his publisher Book Hub Publishing or The Book Centre Waterford and it is also available from the Facebook page of Red Books, in Wexford.
8 Responses to ‘BITTERN CRY’ by Fergus Hogan
- Frank Wagner says:May 8, 2020 at 8:08 amThis is magnificent poetry with clear and striking imagery and moving language. Fergus Hogan works to clarify, not obscure. There are no literary games, just touching clarity.
- Margaret O’Brien says:May 8, 2020 at 10:11 amThis is terrific Fergus. Thank you so much!
- Jeannie Judge says:May 8, 2020 at 7:01 pmWhat a delightful reading. We are grateful!jeannie
- Kathryn Clare Wegrzyn Wegrzyn says:May 8, 2020 at 9:34 pmThe setting in the Poems by Fergus Hogan with nature, respecting in wonderment all which is bestowed upon us. Each path to remedy the course of lifes decisions,whether we hand out or receive it is the comfort to remain present as One Who Gives it up to God.
- Mike McCormick says:May 9, 2020 at 4:01 amLoved these poems- especially “Shelter.” That one made me remember my boyhood church – St James in Haverhill.
- Mary Fallon says:May 9, 2020 at 8:33 amLove the tenderness of these poems. They were prayer-like and hopeful. The poem shelter was particularly moving and reminded me that God is our shelter, especially in such uncertain times. The litany of familiar scents and sites in the church convened a sense of the eternal nature of faith. Thank you for sharing them.
- Josephine LoRe says:May 12, 2020 at 8:54 pmthis poetry is pure magic, pure music to my ears … thank you so much for sharing with us, Fergus
- June Granville Mazouch says:May 21, 2020 at 12:21 amThese are the most !beautiful poems I have ever heard . Thank you!
I’m from Chicago This has been a blessing