I’ve been digging through old files. Here’s a poem I wrote ten or twelve years ago, after reading a very large amount of Seamus Heaney. It has been whittled down (a very specific form of editing) several times over the course of the intervening years. I’m not quite sure what to do with it, but I’m not quite sure I shouldn’t do something with it…
I am singing of vagrant philosophers,
breath reeking of sour charity,
ragged coats flapping like the wing
of a broken thrush.
I am singing of field and fen,
of the swamp and leaf and blanket
of frost, the small sweet abrasions
a landscape marks on a fresh and malleable
soul. I am showing memories
that run like cinema-shows, a people divided,
a childhood restored. I am looking
at the tiny details that describe the whole.
I want to sweep myself like a burning brand
to goad the horned fall of history.