For some unknown reason, I forgot to put this on here when I first wrote it. Rectified.
The Death of Seamus Heaney
My inspiration kicked in right on cue:
these opening lines, written on the back
of my copy of his own ‘Opened Ground’
with a change of pen ink halfway down,
observed the classic, tragic unities
of one catastrophe, one time, one place.
And is it so always the artist’s way
to fall passionately for their medium?
Hodler or Monet at their loves’ bedsides,
painting ceaselessly, automatic hands;
the mason’s chisel slides out of the groove
as he stares transfixed at the epitath.
I’m going out to get royally drunk
tonight in honour of a dead king
known by his signs: he had the common touch
that cured the Evil, passed incognito
among his subjects, wearing the disguise
of a plain and simple honest man.
The earth, his mother goddess, takes him back
within herself, to lie beneath the hills
with the Daoine Sidhe in the mounds:
the giant bones that formed Old Ireland
articulating landscape, making sense
of place, sinewed and sweetly fleshed with names.