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Pathways – a poetry collection

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for Imad

In previous incarnations
my phoenix soul, once reborn,
would fly into the skies and scream;
not in pain
but searing vitality,
proud in youth’s redeemed strength.

But this time

I awaken, and look
at the scorched earth and ashes of old
and mourn for what was;
the beauty of shimmering tail feathers,
the glint in my eye –
and don’t misunderstand; there is a glint now still –
but a different one: A shine from a different star.

I cry, knowing
the fire that renews and keeps me immortal
was expected, but this time not wanted so soon
for the Before was joy, as the After will be too,
but the Between was such fearful pain – such Hell.

So, soon I shall soar free, as I have done before
and this time, my new plumage will shine

but so too shall my tears for what I lost.

Cork, 17 November 2022

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