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For Brigid's Day...



Song

A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

~ Seamus Heaney



Blackberry-picking

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.

We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

~ Seamus Heaney

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
chelidon
Feb. 2nd, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
mmmm, thank you. I love Heaney, and both of these nourished me in delicious ways.
jennlynn_green
Feb. 2nd, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
I am so glad. May the music of what happens in your life be undeniably danceable.
muddyslush
Feb. 2nd, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
lovely! thank you for posting these! Happy Imbolc!
jennlynn_green
Feb. 2nd, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
My pleasure, sweet poet. Happy Imbolc to you darlin'...may inspiration flow to you like honey.

Kisses - Jen
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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