Thursday, October 03, 2013

National Poetry Day

It's got to be Heaney, this year.

Westering (in California)

I sit under Rand McNally's
"Official Map of the Moon" -
The colour of frogskin,
Its enlarged pores held

Open and one called
"Pitiscus" at eye level -
Recalling the last night
In Donegal, my shadow

Neat upon the whitewash
From her bony shine,
The cobbles of the yard
Lit pale as eggs.

Summer had been a free fall
Ending there,
The empty amphitheatre
Of the west. Good Friday

We had started out
Past shopblinds drawn on the afternoon,
Cars stilled outside still churches,
Bikes tilting to a wall;

We drove by,
A dwindling interruption
As clappers smacked
On a bare altar

And congregations bent
To the studded crucifix.
What nails dropped out that hour?
Roads unreeled, unreeled

Falling light as casts
Laid down
On shining waters.
Under the moon's stigmata

Six thousand miles away,
I imagine untroubled dust,
A loosening gravity,
Christ weighing by his hands.

Seamus Heaney, from Wintering Out (1972).

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