HOMAGE to ST. SEAMUS
“I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing.”
For years I’ve knelt at your holy wells
and envied the cut of your clean-edged song,
lay down in the bog where dead men dwell,
grieved with ghosts who told their wrongs.
Your consonants cleave my soft palate.
I taste their music and savor it long
past the last line of the taut sonnet,
its rhyming subtle, its accent strong.
And every poem speaks a sacrament,
blood of blessing, bread of the word,
feeding me full in language ancient
as Árann’s rock and St. Kevin’s birds.
English will never be the same.
To make it ours is why you came.