Molly Swan-Sheeran's 

On-Line Poetry Chap Book





   To Chocolate


Was ever love so deep, so

succulent as chocolate?

Dark Dutched creamy

it slides around my tongue

melting, soaking straight

into my solar plexus

where it burns a loving pleasure

an eternal flame

of contentment.

The color, velvet, strong,

the texture when warm,

flowing, an uncontrolled syrup

delighting to smear on hands

and leave stains on sleeves

and shirt fronts

like an illicit flirtation.

Chocolate never says no.

I peel back the golden foil

and shiver with anticipation.

I prolong my pleasure

by going slowly

then faster and faster,

gobbling impossible bites

till theres nothing left

but a few crumbs.

I lick my index finger

and gently pick up those last few bits.

Farewell sweet beauty,

until we

meet again.









           The Sacred Spring            


Our lives are coppiced

  in this far flung century,

   almost a snapped-off branch.

With our long roots

  we draw in the rain,

    saving what we cannot see.

You and I climb down

  to the sacred spring,

   a tiny waterfall into a hidden rock pool,

     the water clear, cool, trembling.

And when we bring it home and fill the kettle

  the steam holds the honey of last yearís flowers

    and the moss in its emerald velvet.

Our lives are narrowed,

 in this new brushed-steel century,

  but we drink of the sacred,

    and maybe when the rain drenches our scalps

      and runs down our backs

       we will have a glimmer

         of the fairy tale

           that is our heart.

A short video John made of the of the spring:





Seeds of Art



It was the angel in the clouds,

 the face on the tree,

   the driftwood and rock

    that looked like a seal, a wolf, a bear.

It was the figure of a goddess

 in the reflection of the hills in the sea.

These were the seeds of art,

  when our eyes suddenly saw

   that a thing which was not really there

    could appear to be there.

A thing could be seen in the symbol,

  in a few blotches and scratches,

   there an eye, there a mouth.

Then we scratched on the cave wall,

  and smeared bits of ochre and soot.

There an eye, there an antler.

And the seeds of art, of language were sown.

Here, here, I tapped the wall,

  here a wolf, here a bison.

Here, here, I drew a river with a stick in the dirt.

There the water and there the mountain.

And the map of the land unfolded

  in the minds of us all. 


 Molly Swan- Sheeran copyright 2004









 The Moth


The moth batters my window, craving light.

An actor caught in one eternal role.

The glass reflects, a mirror black as night.


I sit in bed, blind-sided by the sight.

Its frail brown body struggles to one goal.

The moth batters my window, craving light.


In all the nightís expanses for its flight

this vehemence must surely take its toll.

The glass reflects, a mirror black as night.


What cruel obsession drives with mindless might?

Why brightness as a siren to the soul?

The moth batters my window, craving light.


I close my eyes against the hopeless sight

of a tiny creature trying to break a hole

in glass reflecting mirror black as night.


Yet still I stare, conjoining wrong and right.

Its stark persistence glowing like a coal.

The moth batters my window, craving light

The glass reflects, a mirror black as night.  





      The Fog


The fog is so thick

  I can reach out and grab a handful,

   wring it out and get a cup of water.

The sheep wander out of bed, blinking

  in the wraithe-tended morning.

Birds chatter,

 lively and glad,

gossiping about

 nest making materials.

Distant cows lament

  the fading white daffodils

   they so love to munch

    and laze on.

My last sip of green tea

  is cold,

   cold as the cup of



on a grey rock

 in moonstone studded grass.


Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2008







Salmon Berry Flowers



The salmon berry flowers

 are a piercing brilliant pink

  in a bower over my head

   this drizzley day.

I rest,

 a crone along the path,

  breathing in the

saturated sweetness

 of elderberry flowers

  and the moss upholstered meadows.

This first week of May

 is like a violin note

  above the score

   so sweet,

    almost unbearable,

     it makes you lean forward

      to catch every bit of sound.

I sit,

 my elder bones

  vibrating slightly

   with the livened shiver

    of the planet turning,

     time turning,

      spring turning,

       flowers turning,

        oh joy,

         to ripe berries.


Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2008



Lament for Gasoline, April 2008


The smell of gasoline

 as I pump the precious ounces

  in to the tank of my car

   is a hearkening scent.

Childhood trips

 to the station that gave us all

  free grape gum,

   the loud ding as we rolled up to be served,

    the man coming out of the

     bay doors,

      a rag in his back pocket,

       a crooked grin on his

        black-smudged face.

Now the numbers on the pump roll silent,



That heady fluid,

 vintage of the Cretaceous Period,

  sucked from the breast of the Earth


Like diamonds and gold,

 found worthy,

  by some,

   of killing thousands,

    trampled underfoot

     with the lust of control

       and profit.

And we

 in our little steel boxes

  with our internal combustion engines,

   we turn on the radio

    and flinch at the news.


Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2008








Molly wrote this after catching fish with her bare hands~




Catching Smelt


I am wearing my high rubber boots

and I stand in the shallows.

Standing still I am, in the shallows, waiting.

Very still, my soft grey feathers

ruffled gently in a breeze.

A breeze on the water ? No,

it is the fish, coming to a boil.

Coming to spawn in the shallows, careless.

They are silver sleek.

Closer they come, careless they are.

My long sharp beak ready,

hungry, standing still.

They roil around me, their silver sides

as they thrash, coming out of water, so many.

I lunge, my beak, sharp, practiced, neat

in its perfection.

I grab, frantic, the lively slippery fish

in my hands, I fling them up on the beach.

Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2003




Here is Molly reading an audio love poem: " for John "   click for mp3


and here is another poem


 called "Coracle"   click for mp3



 "The Inter-island Ferry" click for mp3



 "Thimbleberries"  click for mp3



  "On Reading Mary Oliver"  click for mp3




 "Saturday Morning"    click for mp3



 "Harpo Marx Angels"  click for mp3




Villanelle for Swallows


The swallows now returning to their nest

play diving games upon the morning air

and clouds grow dark and sullen in the west.


The cherry trees in flounces of their best

white ruffled lace will dance without a care

while swallows are returning to their nest


Contentious crowds of hummingbirds will rest

then rise and dash too quick for eyes to dare

the clouds grown dark and sullen in the west.


While first sweet lilacs open slowly lest

their coy and purple faces be laid bare

when swallows are returning to their nest.


The swallows bring each feather on their quest

to softly furnish home for eggs to share

while clouds grow dark and sullen in the west.


The first chill drops of rain begin to test

the wind that blows the weather foul or fair.

The swallows still returning to their nest

and clouds grow dark and sullen in the west.


Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2007



   Double Rainbow


If I were not so embarrassed

to tell you how the late afternoon

gilded the trees and the fields

and the rain came pelting in

And if I were not embarrassed

to say how a rainbow sprung out

of the tangy peach sunset

and settled, both ends

in the open meadow

and then made a second rainbow,

a wispy shadow rainbow above itself

And if I were not reticent of wonder

I'd tell of the bald eagle

flying through the stream of colors,

dying its wings red orange yellow green blue

for a dazzling instant.

I'd tell of the scent of cherry blossoms

waving on the bough,

shaking the deliriously happy hummingbirds

and tossing the fuzzy bumble bees

from branch to lovely branch.

I'd say how my love stood beside me

and held my hand in his

and turned and turned

taking in all the glory.

But sometimes its too much to tell,

and I am embarrassed

that you were not there too.


Molly Swan-Sheeran  copyright 2007











Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2005

Damn Planet

Damn Planet

whats with this
tilting time, over done,
now its autumn, winter, whoops
Arbitrary, cold, dark,
damn planet,
where is the sunlight
once so hot, direct, bright and
all those brilliant flowers
and the air full of the
songs of birds
celebrating morning?
Whoís idea to have this crack-the-whip
elliptical path out into the shivering reaches,
shaded dank parts of the galaxy
where nobody stays awake past eight oíclock
and the sandman rolls up the sidewalks
and the dark moon snores?
I have my sweaters and thermals,
I have my hats and scarves
layers of the onion, one on one,
lotions for chapped skin.
But, oh, damn,
oh damn planet,
must you carry us away
to this place
we cannot hibernate through
we cannot skip over, tra-la
we cannot understand why we must,
damn planet,
Must hang on, hang out, hang tough,
when you could just trim sail a bit
and keep it all lighter, brighter,
give up the gothic & make it impressionist,
make it summer,
make it now,
make it always.

Molly Swan-Sheeran 2004




The swirls of pale green pollen

  ride the air,

   ancestral as Spring,

     they invade us.

The fine prickly star-pointed motes

  catch in my hair and eyes and lungs,

   making me cough and dazzle,

     sunshine pent up

      and spent in the quest to go on,

       a golden and blessed punishment

        to the fecund landscape.

These ancient trees

  knew who walked here

   before we arrived.

This ancient bark,

  rich with the chartreuse glow

   of candelarias, the lichen

    both showy and demure.

And me, my car dusted green,

 both curse and relish

  this airborne exclamation

    of the turning season.


Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2006



Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2003




As sunlight warms the world
and the courage of daffodils in winter,
so also it warms my room.

Scattered pillows, books, a valentine
tucked in the window frame
aglow, red, with the shadows

of the bridal wreath bush
now delicate, touched with green,
trembling with the south wind from the sea.

A latched box of last yearís rose buds
holds a sweet power: breathe deep,
and close the lid until the new

roses open in the tussocky meadows
and my hands, one year older,
reach, knowingly, to gather in.

Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2005





One evening I noticed lots of licorice slugs crossing the road. I wondered why. But then it suddenly came to me. Why does the slug cross the road? To do the tango. And so I wrote this.

The Licorice Slug Tango

They cross the road

The far side looks so sweet

Their skin like slicked-back hair

They have no feet

Their sides are wet and slippery as a mango

They start to dance the licorice

slug tango.

The night is dim

And sultry as a harem

The road is wide

But slugs donít like to share Ďum

Itís time to dance a slow motion fandango

They long to do the licorice

slug tango.

The music plays

The beat is hot and throbbing

The slugs arrive

Theyíre eagerly hob-nobbing

The jazz is hot, they play the notes like Django

Theyíre ripe to do the licorice

slug tango.

The road is crossed

The violins are fading

The road sideís dim

The summer leaves are shading

Itís like a night in Chichicastenango

And still they dance the licorice

slug tango.

Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 1998



For 18 years Molly & John Swan Sheeran lived aboard a little sailboat named "Grace," and cruised in small circles in the Pacific North West. 


May 21, 97


The moon is hidden behind the thick gray

but I know it is fully round and ripe up there.

I launch my dinghy and row out into the darkness

sighting my course by a big gray stump of a

long-gone tree that drifted ashore and sits.

The clunk and sweep of my oars wakes up streaks of spangles

that comet out across the water.

Suddenly below the surface schools of fish are startled

into action, leaving platinum trails in a V-shape,

they scatter.

Each dip of my oar into the giant inkwell of unknown depth

surprises little fishes.

I cannot see fish. I can barely see the oars.

I cannot see moon aft of me

or home ahead,

but by these pale lighted signs

I know.

I know.

Molly Swan-Sheeran

Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2001



How Do We Know


The shadow of a hummingbird,
how do we know it,
recognize that quick
thrumming drone,
suddenly silhouetted on the curtains
then gone?
How do we know
what a loverís hum
means in a conversation,
quiet, at dinner with friends?
How do we know,
know for sure,
that a rainbow is going to appear any moment
in an otherwise dreary sky?
A sweet sorting out,
that knowing,
like musical notes
played with a bow on a blade of grass,
each tone higher as the drops of dew
burn off.
almost sly
it slips in to the accordion file of a heart
we keep for an accounting
of what is real.

Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2004





 This Novemberís Wind


At last the sun

  breaks free of the gray cover,

   smearing a glaucous sheen

     on the horizon.

Two eagles,

  inspired by the wind,

    spiral around each other

      in their amorous dance.


   in the gusts and updrafts

      they sing their strident call,   

         envisioning a clutch of great eggs

           gracing the top of a snag.

What strange flotsam

   will fetch up on our beach

      in this Novemberís wind?

As the sky turns robinís-egg-blue

   with a pale froth of golden peach,

       we accept that each indrawn tide,

           like each indrawn breath,

              like each spin of our earth

                 from dark to new light,

                    is a gift.


Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2005

             To Garlic


Lord bless garlic

 which imparts to our meals

  that certain something.

I love the way you grow

 in cozy clusters

  hunkered together,

   each clove in its own

    discrete wrapper.

I lean the heel of my hand

 on one and crush it gently

 so as to loosen the

  tight white paper.

The aroma rises,

hello! well met,

 I mince, pleased

  at the potent scent.

Put in the pan


  so that each bit of garlic

   is tender, not overcooked.

Hooray! I ask the guests

 if they like garlic

 and all say yes, yes,

  put in lots of it,

   oh glad we are to welcome it.

Benificent to health and taste,

 it makes our breath foul

  but who cares?

Let me roast a whole head of garlic,

 let me squeeze the soft sweet clove

  in to my mouth,

   oh garlic,

    you are most divine.


Molly Swan-Sheeran   copyright May 2008


          Sol Invictus


We wait for Sol Invictus,

 when the great gong of turning

   sounds in the solar system;

    we, with our Solstice,

      gaze out at a long horizon.

In the Andes,

 the stone that once held

  the sacred gold chains

   to tie the sun in its course,

     sits watchful, as shadows turn.

In the Stonehenge circle

 the beams slip along

  to their celestial appointment,

    while we, hot milky tea

      clutched in pale fingers, wait.

In the sea,

 our sacred ancient home,

  the first brave creatures

    stir and come alive

     just as the season turns.

The signal of the sun,

  the great gong,

    wakes them,

     makes them hearken up

      and fill with shining breath.


Molly Swan-Sheeran copyright 2005



Turning Down


The leaves are bruised and gnarled

  by the turning down of the light,

   and we are slapped silly by wind and rain

    coming down the skyways.

Cyclical, explicable, awful,

  the onset of the dark time.

Despised or welcomed,

  the damping down of the life fires

    for the long night of the year

     must happen,

       tended in by the unseen hand.

That Unseen Hand, now,

  what can we say, what can we know of that?

Only that it does come,


   with its tender tucking-in,

     reminds us that what is turned down

       rises to the light again.

       Molly Swan-Sheeran   copyright 2005









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03 Dec 2014 16:44:41 -0700.