my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.
Northern reticence, the tight gag of place
And times: yes, yes. Of the 'wee six' I sing
Where to be saved you only must save face
And whatever you say, you say nothing.
What You Say Say Nothing
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.
Personal Helicon (For Michael Longley).
in civilized outrage
yet understand the exact
and tribal, intimate revenge.
I know is a door into the dark.
people hungering from birth,
grubbing, like plants, in the bitch earth,
were grafted with a great sorrow.
At a Potato Digging
a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot,
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.
A four foot box, a foot for every year.
culpable was he
That last night when he broke
Our tribe's complicity?
'Now you're supposed to be
An educated man,'
I hear him say. 'Puzzle me
The right answer to that one.'
waiting until I was nearly fifty
To credit marvels.
My passport's green.
No glass of ours was ever raised
To toast The Queen.
says, Don't hope
on this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.
The Cure at Troy