She waits to be invoked,
watching, with amused recognition,
the fearful or indolent or confused poet –
a drama played over and over:
she never wearies of the joke.
It’s so utterly simple, she says
under her breath – of what use
would it be to speak out loud?
Sometimes, though, she spins
complications – a decade of illness,
say, or some wound to the psyche
that can never be healed
except in the imagination –
that old whistler in the dark
places of the spirit.
Should that happen, be flattered,
it means she has hopes of you,
but that things will go harder
if you fail. And you so often
fail, compelled to relearn
that the Muse is no respecter
of good intentions, pieties.
She is the keeper of the labyrinth
who promises only one thing:
if you are true to her,
she will be true to you.
Even should silence encompass you;
especially when silence encompasses you;
her singing leading you through
tunnels, dead spaces, towards
lost memories of light: unbirth,
harrowing, original fire.
Diane Fahey is the author of 13 poetry collections, has won major poetry awards and been represented in more than 70 anthologies. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from UWS. See <dianefaheypoet.com>.
Image credit: Bradley Weber