The Bodhran

by Ana L. Palles

Whistle and Bodhran On a warm May day, a festival beckons
With music and smells of foods exotic
And artists and craftsmen of fanciful hats
Wave their wares with tempting abandon
Broad smiles carved deep on sun bronzed skin

A stall so unique it catches my eye
Rosewood frames and canvases of hide
Painted figures and drifting voices
A beater clasped on careless reaching
A voice now heard from goat hide depths

The summer breeze tousles my hair
A masculine hand caressing the curls
Upon my cheek I feel a whisper
Find the Bodhran, he says
Find the Bodhran, I await

A vague recalling stirred within me
I saw at once the burnished ring
Deep burgundy of rosewood shone
Twas born of heart and love
Sweet voice an offering for praise of God

A blessed wood carried forth in legend
A touch restoring my vision sight
Its story unfolding in a forest of old
Ambling steps and a softly sweeping dress
Coaxing song from fallen leaves

Delicate touch upon the Bodhran’s face
With spoken duty clear and bold
Timeless future and burning past
The long awaited message at once delivered
A knowing in the heart received

My fingers wrapped around the ring
A drum recalling both new and old
The changing wind no longer smelled
Of festival fare and sugared sweets
Nor of metal and oil and practical things

The humid air upon my lips
Foretold the taste at once of older times
And sounds suspended, forest hushed
While gently held in feminine hands
The carved beater prepares to dance

With graceful roll a melody’s begun
The music swells within my breast
At once the tender voice recalls
An olden song of language lost
Familiar depths within my bones

The body knows when it has found
A link at once beautiful and sorrowful
A memory’s lost assembled hosts
Of Rowan trees, Elm and sweetly scented Pines
For magical ballads, Guardians true

Doorways once opened not meant to be closed
The Bodhran embraces the singer with longing
Souls enfolding and merging with music divine
A scene so ancient with memory’s yearning
Floating wisps of heaven’s chorus and earth’s divine heart

Again that throaty whisperer calls out on the wind
And reminds that return is beckoning nigh
The Bodhran is found, at last, you’ve returned
Long centuries in my keep I have waited
For you to remember, he sighs, you remember.

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