Embedded in a crumbling boulder
or sniffed as air released from some
mouldy cellar; that's how he
wished to arrive in the conscious
Who folded my map
before I'd even taken bearings?
I've tramped roads just
The poignant smell of whin blossom
mixed with turf smoke and Atlantic ozone.
We picked our way down a bouldered lane
onto a crunching Mayo beach
Last night, hunting inspiration,
I turned again to Mr Heaney.
Sometimes just one word
of his is enough to
Ground deep in cold, cold stone, CASSIDY,
chiselled long ago by craftman's hand
on a Celtic Cross.
Slowly a finger traces each etched letter,
A Sunday night, Nineteen Forty.
Holy - unholy congregate
at the four ways,
Just to foot the night,
Tethered to a stump of memory
a Wish lies bleaching in white isolation.
Dream winds worry its fading outline,
cracked lights shine on it - sometimes.
No tabloids for him, always The Irish News,
and that, mainly for deaths at the end.
Four slow reads he managed every day;
morning, after meals and just before bed,
Cane straight at eighty.
Years yet to dig
your careful bean rows.
To plant seed
Voices of our sullen North
waylay the splendid lyrics
he breathed on sibilant airwaves.