Saturday, March 16, 2019




You'd be surprised

how black black is

when it's blue with rain.

And what do you do with the light

that comes in off the sea?

You might as well

forget what you look like

before you could ever begin

walking in it.


The greatest high-tide,

the happiest birds,

and the drunk on the road

who has been hurt in love.

The Prayer

for Noel Kilgallon

When Peggy was dying

her son leaned over to whisper

the Our Father into her ear.

She opened her eyes.

'Things must be bad, ' she said,

'that you've started praying.'

The Wandering Cat

If you find your cat

wandering far from home

don't lift him!

He'll weigh so heavy

he'll never leave your hands.

My House is Tiny

My house is tiny

and my sorrow

is the smallest

at this end of the country.

And yet the whole sea

at my back

can fit into

the most frightened

human mind.


in memory of Aidan

If you let the fire die

the soul scurries across the field

like a burning coal

off to another hearth.

Oh disloyal soul

separated from me

in my cold house!


Dermot Healy
What the Hammer
Gallery Books (Ireland)

A marvelous Irish poet, and this small clutch of poems
may be my favorite of all his books. He catches where he
lives and works and eats and breathes, and who with. Healy
writes much longer poems as well, and as well, but I first
got smitten by these.