To Seamus Heaney in Heaven
after ‘The Peninsula’
Sometimes, when you have nothing to say, it is because
water and ground in their extremity
swallow the words before they leave your mouth.
They’re in the dark again and will never arrive.
The sky road is like that. The road round the peninsula
rides toward a drunken sea and sky.
There is no horizon. The sky and the glazed sea meld.
The whitewashed gabled cottage you mentioned
is there at the point where all things merge and marry,
a compass for swallowed words.
It is as you said – the sea, and the islands riding the sea,
except there is no fog. This is Green Ireland
on a Best Day. Looking back, there is the ground rising,
and the road riding up the grassed hill,
a landscape clean in its own shape,
that holds the code to all landscapes.
Sometimes, when you still have nothing to say,
after a long drive round a peninsula,
it is because water and ground in their extremity
have swallowed worlds.