not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

meditation on what a flower is, wild rose, i

A Letter To My Lover While He Travels

How beautiful it is for me, 
awake this empty morning,

making the rounds of the poems 
posted today,
and nothing sticks.

Nothing is thick enough.
Or sweet enough. 
Or matters. 

Quite clearly the lack of your presence has spread,
some anemia, sour sickness, 
impure infection.

So I go to the shelves and retrieve 
Heaney's slim 
District And Circle,

open the book,
find by surprise the flower pressed into it 
one of our last afternoons together, 

my eyes, then senses, 
suddenly spilling over 
with the profundity of unasked for gifts.

You were in the car with the windows down
while I was inspecting flowers 
in the ditches. 

I brought you this very wild rose,
which I smelled first,
then you smelled deeply, 

our taking in meeting 
there at the apex 
of nothing.

Perfectly the poem it's pressed upon,
its dirt and flesh, is
To Pablo Neruda in Tamlaghtduff.


To Pablo Neruda In Tamlaghtduff by Seamus Heaney

Niall FizDuff brought a jar
of crab apple jelly
made from crabs off the tree
that grew at Duff's Corner—
still grows at Duff's Corner—
a tree I never once saw
with crab apples on it.

Contrary, unflowery
sky-whisk and bristle, more
twig-fret than fruit-fort,
as crabbed could be—
that was the tree
I remembered.

But then—
O my Pablo of earthlife—
when I tasted the stuff
it was freshets and orbs.
My eyes were on stalks,
I was back in an old
rutted cart road, making
the rounds of the district, breasting
its foxgloves, smelling
cow-parsley and nettles, all
of high summer's smoulder
under our own tree ascendant
in Tamlaghtduff,
its crab-hoard and—yes,
in pure hindsight—corona
of gold.
           For now,
O my home truth Neruda,
round-faced as the crowd
at the crossroads, with your eyes
I see it, now taste-bud
and tear-duct melt down
and I spread the jelly on thick
as if there were no tomorrow.