The writer must create from one, or both, of two places: intention, the rhythmic pounding of chain gang-style word production, regardless of circumstance or existential readiness and/or secondly, inspiration, generally obtained through the navigations of a life-lived and sopping up the genius of creators much greater than oneself. The clear lack of words posted to this site in recent months is evidence that I fail miserably in the former. This one, however, comes from having read some of the collected poems in the posthumous collection: “100 Poems” of Seamus Heaney.
The best writers write much using little. They say fundamental things with brevity, economy, exactitude, and a settled, but discerned, relationship with their environment. Seamus Heaney is such a one.
This is brief, but I hope, settled in its own way. I pray it pokes at something in you that, like for me, has lain dormant. Maybe, together, we can reawaken to all the beauty still out there, waiting to be discovered and toyed with.
Candles, late and long of light,
ligamented now with downward
pour, its waxen tears
the reminders of tender’d space.
Still, there sticks a certainty
of return, innocence untethered,
released from her superlatives
of age; a perambulation of
secondary narratives, like barb’d
wire sunk deep into the
quiver through their tasks,
once the domain of domestic
industry; now but memories,
forgotten, a casual anxiety.
How can the same bird
recall the song, left on the
sill so ready of purpose?
She can but smile at its reticent timbre –
and start again.
Picture found here
3 thoughts on “On aging”
Ooh, very nice, Rob. Thank you! It put me in mind of another lovely post I read recently from Terri Winding: Three Writers on Ageing https://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2018/11/three-writers-on-aging.html
Excellent beautiful poem pointing out the beauty of old age. I loved the picture, it really accentuates the poem.
Thank you so much!