Melody Fahey
Artist, Writer

Melody's watercolors at a Salem coffee shop, 1995.


A 2015 show piece.

email Melody

Star Scent

If you could really smell,
you'd smell the stars.

I smell the stars.
They smell like hot polar ice.
They're twice as fragrant
in the summer
when the wishing star
waits for me to notice
and make requests.
The Big Dipper pours out
blessings on my house
while the Pleiades
hide in the trees,
modestly covering their glory
with leaves.
Sky blossoms will burst
at the last fireworks show
and ripe light fruit
will fall.


From her groggy voice I knew
I woke my friend Renee up
with my phone call.

I could hear
her slow face surfacing
in her long pale hair.

It's strange, she said,
I was just dreaming about you.

Not strange, I said,
that's when calls come.
What did you dream?

I dreamed that they were showing
the story of your life
on Public Television
and I was telling Don
(her husband)
that we should turn it on
before it was too late.

I better get going, I said,
and have an interesting life.

It was a series, she said,
not just one show,
on Masterpiece Theater.

I really better get going,
I said.


The woman with no feet
has walked a long way
and she's still smiling,
so why be sad?
Be your own nurturing mother;
tell yourself how beautiful you are.
You are not this body
and the best is still coming.
It came before
and it's coming again,
because the lover really
does love you.
This world around you
is just a betrothal gift--
when he takes you home
you'll put it in your jewel box.


Listen: the costume is part of the dance.
The way you move, where your eyes look,
the tinkling bells, your perfume,
all is for the lover.
Why wear mourning
when he is not dead?
Didn't he send you flowers all spring?
And now that it is summer
your body longs to swim in his gaze.
Don't be afraid.
The only angel with power over you
adores you.
Put on rainbow colors,
dance before your mirror,
for the guest will soon be
at the door.
The Writings

Someone is holding up a giant book.
It's blocking my view of the outdoor movie,
the inner movie too.
What is this book
that makes me lean from side to side,
to try to see around it?
Who wants me to worship words,
translations of translations?
I can't even see a flower,
wearing these blinders.

The Call

There is a golden telephone
hidden in the cupboard.
It's so beautiful
I can't believe it's really mine.
When it rings
I hear the voice I love,
and when I make a call
angels always answer.


You can't buy the moon at a yard sale
no matter how hard you look,
so let your trinkets go
and make space for the real gift.
If he courts you for treasure,
what does that say about him?
If she befriends you for status,
where is her loyalty?
Be a merchant of illusions
to satisfy the creditors
but don't think about it.
Remember that the real lover
brings the beautiful moment forever
and doesn't charge a penny.


May we wander in each other's dreams,
flying together,
swimming in light?
Shall we know each other's thought-things
before the mail comes in the morning?
Who taught us to wall up our hearts?
Cupid's darts won't kill us,
if we open our souls
like letters long awaited.
The piercing joy,
the knife that cuts the knot of mystery,
these are on the other side
of forgetting what we know,
and remembering
what we have been taught to forget.
When my lover
turns to water in my arms
I swim in that warm lagoon
behind the church of my childhood.
Stained glass pictures in your eyes
are rose windows
over the alter
and the choir.

Practice Flight

I flew down low
over the green stairs
up and down
into the yard where
I thought: if I fly
this low to the ground
I may as well
walk and I did
past the neighbors
who stood in front
of where they lived
like guardians of
dream houses
of wakening wakening

Visit the late John Fahey's family website. Leave a note of remembrance.
Read others' memories of John: link here.