(Seamus Heaney, 1938–2013)

Let the low
notes drone

like experience, steady

as they weather rock
and human faces, bring
the waves, shape
the sands, bend
and ripple the grass

up strands and estuaries—

the midrange stands
for the imagination

a steady melody and dance

of comfort
and the gentling
tasks of the everyday
the moments when
a maker might glance
at loved ones
and catch a breath—

that leaves the keening

a register of cries
that cannot be controlled
or hidden, the sail

that becomes
the sky, the wind
and too high
for even the keener

to hear

Copyright © 2019 by Anthony Walton. This poem was first printed in Poetry Ireland Review, No. 128 (August 2019). Used with the permission of the author.