RTÉ

'Illuminations', an RTÉ Arts Project

Paula Meehan

Easter 2020

Easter 2020

by Paula Meehan

Breath by breath we take the cosmos in
Pulse by pulse, drumbeat of the heart.

The geese flock north, again the swallows come;
Every plant that flowers, the promise of its seed.

Lit by sun, lit by moon, lit by stars,
Breath by breath our inner light let shine.

Hand on heart — kin, kindred, kind,
Mortal in earthrise, radiant diamond mind.

Coal, under enormous pressure in the earth, turns into diamond. It was clear by Easter we were heading into a time that would put huge pressure on all of us, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and financially – but especially on our bodies. We are all only one breath away from the void. We have become hyper-sensitive to bodily processes, to our heartbeat, to our blood pulsing and especially to our breathing. I have a long-time interest in meditation and tai chi, and I hoped these practices would stand to me in this time of immense stress and pressure. And they have. Breath by breath. Radiant diamond mind.

Easter 2020

Paula Meehan

Read by Marie Mullen

Paula Meehan

Paula Meehan was born and reared in Dublin. She studied at Trinity College and at Eastern Washington University. In October 2020, Dedalus Press will publish As If By Magic: Selected Poems, which collects work from over 30 years of poetry making. Her books have garnered both popular and critical acclaim in Ireland and internationally. Paula has received many awards and her poems have been translated into many languages. She was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2013 to 2016 and Imaginary Bonnets with Real Bees in Them, published by UCD Press, collects her public lectures from that time. She was honoured with election to Aosdána in 1996.