On the grass when I arrive,
Filling the stillness with life,
But ready to scare off
At the very first wrong move.
In the ivy when I leave.
 
It’s you, blackbird, I love.
 
I park, pause, take heed.
Breathe. Just breathe and sit
And lines I once translated
Come back: “I want away
To the house of death, to my father
 
Under the low clay roof.”
 
And I think of one gone to him,
A little stillness dancer—
Haunter-son, lost brother –
Cavorting through the yard,
So glad to see me home,
 
My homesick first term over.
 
 
And think of a neighbour’s words
Long after the accident:
“Yon bird on the shed roof,
Up on the ridge for weeks—
I said nothing at the time
 
But I never liked yon bird.”
 
The automatic lock
Clunks shut, the blackbird’s panic
Is shortlived, for a second
I’ve a bird’s eye view of myself,
A shadow on raked gravel
 
In front of my house of life.
 
Hedge-hop, I am absolute
For you, your ready talkback,
Your each stand-offish comeback,
Your picky, nervy goldbeak—
On the grass when I arrive,
 
In the ivy when I leave.

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Leonard Nalencz
about 2 years

Recalls "Midterm Break" from "Death of a Naturalist".

Jack Howe
over 2 years

beautiful poem.

Robert L. Martin
over 2 years

Wow! That was beautiful.

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Other works by Seamus Heaney...