Friday 16 June 2023

Four Poems by Ursula O’Reilly



Why keep a cracked vase?

A friend viewed my antiques.

I value it, I said. She gaped.

Expression a question mark.

Cracks are treasure, I declared.

Broken, fixed back together.

Cracks fashion a pattern,

I can never fail to admire.

A robust vessel, I mused,

Turning it in my hand.

Sound as when it was crafted.

Stronger for its flaws.

Not the vase it once was.

Different, I observed.

Perhaps a little peculiar,

But no less beautiful.

It will not easily break,

Or topple from the shelf.

Cracked, not broken, I stated.

Beautifully cracked, I said.






Linger, trapped

Between the cracks.

Generations trample

The floor above,



Secrets wait to

Spring to life.

Fresh and vital, as

The day they were




Discreetly wait

For a heedless soul,

To stumble on them.

Where the obscure

Incessantly seek

The light.




I chose a box with ugly cracks.

Found a treasure there within.

Golden coins to the brim.

Ever since, my step is light.


The boxes were all beautiful.

Rainbow colours to entice.

Exquisitely painted, gilt-trimmed,

With shining ornate clasps.


I paused for the longest time,

Gazing from box to box.

One stood alone, not so fine.

I noticed it was flawed, cracked.


I thought about the many times

I had departed from that place.

With flawless boxes. Dashed away.

Hoping for a valued prize.


One box had overflowed

With rich delectable food;

Which afterward made me ill,

Left a bitter taste behind.


Another held gleaming jewels,

Which overnight transformed

Into stones. This time I knew

I must select the right one.


I chose a box with ugly cracks.

Found a treasure there within.

Golden coins to the brim.

Ever since, my step is light.




Cracked and exquisite.

Cracked and strong.

Cracked, not broken.

Still holding on.

I adore your cracks.

They capture light.

In shrouded places,

In bleakest night.

Ursula O’Reilly is a writer/artist living in County Cavan, Ireland. She is the author of numerous poems and short stories. Her tales are drawn from life experiences, fairy stories and mythology, and people/events, real or imagined.

Ursula’s work has appeared online and in various literary magazines including: ‘Dawntreader Magazine’, ‘Vita Brevis Press’, ‘The Literary Yard’, ‘Poetry Plus magazine’, ‘Woman’s Way magazine’, ‘Young Ravens Literary Review’, ‘Otherwise Engaged Literary and Arts Journal’, ‘Personal Bests Journal’, ‘The Green Shoe Sanctuary’ and by ‘Southern Arizona Press’.

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