kerkevik_2014: (Default)
 
  The name of the poet seems very familiar, but I can't seem to recall where I've seen it. 

  However, I was browsing my Poetry Please book again and this caught my eye. 


  

Go the Long, Long Way Home by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Go the long way, the long way home.
Over this gate and that lean, at the three lanes’ meeting delay,
Look well at that field of hay, eye closely the drilled loam,
Finger the springing corn, count every petal
Of the hedge rose and the guelder rose.
Under the bosom of the blossomed elder stay,
Delay, linger, browse deep on all this green and all this growing,
Slant cheek to the sweet air, with deep greeting survey
The full-leaved boughs like water flowing,
The corn-waves hurrying uphill as the wind blows.
Look overhead into the blue, look round,
Watch this bird fly and that bird settle,
With slow treading and sure greet the assuring ground:
Go slowly, for slowly goes this midsummer day,
And this is the last time you will come this way.

Go the long way, the long way home.
Aye, and when you’ve arrived and the sighing gate falls to,
Go slowly, go heedfully your garden through.
Breathe in the spice pinks, turn face up to the soft
Ripe rose that wags aloft,
Nod to the old rake, rub thumbs along the spade’s edge,
Measure the potato hills and the tall bean rows,
Pledge cherry and currant bush, pledge lily and lily leaf spear
And rebel the nettles waving along the hedge;
Look closely, look well,
See how your garden grows,
Ponder yourself even into the secret cell
Of this year’s honeycomb:
Look long, for long has this been yours and long been dear,
And this is the last time you will stand here.

Go the long way, the long way home.
Though you are weary, hasten not ghost to ground,
Tarry this last hour out, take your last look round,
Greet finally the earth, greet leaf and root and stock.
Stand in your last hour poised, like the dandelion clock-
Frail ghost of the gaudy raggle-taggle that you were-
Stand up, O homing phantom, stand up intact and declare
The goodness of earth the greatest good you found,
Ere the wind jolts you, and you vanish like the foam.

From: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/panmeditation/message/147

Date: 1938

By: Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978)



  Goddess watch over us all, 

  

  Kerk TehKek
kerkevik_2014: (Default)
 
  One of the reasons I love to listen to Poetry Please is that many times you discover poems that have been around for a very long time, or not very long at all, but you missed on the programme; then discover them when you buy a collection of its most popular requested poetry. 

  This is one such. 

  

A Disused Shed in County Wexford (1975)

Derek Mahon

 

“Let them not forget us, the weak souls among theasphodelsSEFERIS, Mythitorema”
for J.G. Farrell

Even now there are places where a thought might grow —
Peruvian mines, worked out and abandoned
To a slow clock of condensation,
An echo trapped forever, and a flutter
Of wildflowers in the lift-shaft,
Indian compounds where the wind dances
And a door bangs with diminished confidence,
Lime crevices behind rippling rainbarrels,
Dog corners for bone burials;
And in a disused shed in Co. Wexford,

Deep in the grounds of a burnt-out hotel,
Among the bathtubs and the washbasins
A thousand mushrooms crowd to a keyhole.
This is the one star in their firmament
Or frames a star within a star.
What should they do there but desire?
So many days beyond the rhododendrons
With the world waltzing in its bowl of cloud,
They have learnt patience and silence
Listening to the rooks querulous in the high wood.

They have been waiting for us in a foetor
Of vegetable sweat since civil war days,
Since the gravel-crunching, interminable departure
of the expropriated mycologist.
He never came back, and light since then
Is a keyhole rusting gently after rain.
Spiders have spun, flies dusted to mildew
And once a day, perhaps, they have heard something —
A trickle of masonry, a shout from the blue
Or a lorry changing gear at the end of the lane.

There have been deaths, the pale flesh flaking
Into the earth that nourished it;
And nightmares, born of these and the grim
Dominion of stale air and rank moisture.
Those nearest the door growing strong —
‘Elbow room! Elbow room!’
The rest, dim in a twilight of crumbling
Utensils and broken flower-pots, groaning
For their deliverance, have been so long
Expectant that there is left only the posture.

A half century, without visitors, in the dark —
Poor preparation for the cracking lock
And creak of hinges; magi, moonmen,
Powdery prisoners of the old regime,
Web-throated, stalked like triffids, racked by drought
And insomnia, only the ghost of a scream
At the flash-bulb firing-squad we wake them with
Shows there is life yet in their feverish forms.
Grown beyond nature now, soft food for worms,
They lift frail heads in gravity and good faith.

They are begging us, you see, in their wordless way,
To do something, to speak on their behalf
Or at least not to close the door again.
Lost people of Treblinka and Pompeii!
‘Save us, save us,’ they seem to say,
‘Let the god not abandon us
Who have come so far in darkness and in pain.
We too had our lives to live.
You with your light meter and relaxed itinerary,
Let not our naive labours have been in vain!’





   Goddess watch over us all, 

   

   Kerk TehKek 

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