the exchange

a politician mailed a half
dollar to me and asked
for fifty in return to help
his cause. i have heard
preachers on tv promise
the same things in different
ways, always asking for more.
so i buried the half dollar
in a corner of the churchyard,
near the dead politicians
and tv preachers, imagining
the squabble taking place
on the shore when charon
stretches forth his ghastly hand.

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vessel

breath and bones, heaps of walking ash
burned badly by life. the skin is an urn
lined with scenes and scars. smoldering
fires flame within as we exhale. smoke
dissipates slowly toward the silent stars.

Postscript – Seamus Heaney

One of my favorite poems by Seamus Heaney.

Postscript

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/seamus-heaney-on-writing-postscript-a-sidelong-glimpse-of-something-flying-past-1.1517558

Postscript was first published in The Irish Times. From Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996 by Seamus Heaney. © 1998 by Seamus Heaney.

visitation

i.
you are here and still
gone at the same time.
a whisper noticed only
as a brush of breath
skims across the skin.

ii.
loss is palpable,
resonant like ghosts
wandering invisibly
through the soul.
phantom reminders
never quite fading
completely away.

iii.
solitude holds peace
and unrest equally.
a meeting ground
where imperfection
encounters mercy.