Sheila O’Malley: Prose


Just Beyond The Gate

The caving of the chest, shoulders tight

All the coverings battered and crimped

Something of fear in her malaise.

Soul sensing but not tasting,

The bounty she knows waits outside her door.

Just beyond the gate

Just beyond that gate.

And then she wiggles from her skin.

The forest calls her name.

Each step the trail winding into the mountains.

Puddles from last nights rain

Grasses full of flowers.

Trees in the wind.

New wings drying in the sun.

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Aspen tall snaps in the wind

The strong wind in the night

No ear did hear that mighty crash.

There she lay

Her skin glistening pale and smooth in the piercing light

her leaves still green,  though badly shaken.

The Desert Needs Watering

The desert must be watered with a retreat of all comfort,  all hiding.

The clinging of habit requires a miracle of undoing.   

Oh God,  give my unbending ways nudge,  give me a miracle.

Because it is not a hell I need to escape,   

But the  false peace and happiness that are my days.


She writes her poetry,

Sliding across the page.       

Punctuated by self-importance.

Words not needing to be said, thoughts  unfelt.

A divine fire smolders and will not  ignite.

The heart a dampened cave.

Yet, when the Divine tongue reaches down, Poetry is made.

She lifts us from drudgery,

And gives slivers of the moon unseen.


Taos is a generous place. 

One begins to notice that what one needs shows up.

If ever I am to unlock my ancestral crimps and breathe again,

It is here that my untwisting will happen.

The covered innocence,

Lost when one began drumming to the drum of modern culture,

And not wanting to be alone,

Has hope of uncovering here.

Like the leaves from last years trees being pulled from wet earth,

Exposing fresh shoot to the spring sun.


I will not listen to the winds of fear,

Or let the rape of beauty discourage me,

Or let the rattle of gossip shake my basket into cage.

For the light of spring shines 

Bright with promise of warmth

And tall trees are the rest of ravens and crows.