Patrick Kavanagh

The Seed and the Soil


Once imagined I
Myself sitting high
On the sacred seat
The whole base world at my feet

I poet of light
Guiding the flight
Of the ecstatic child
Lest he be clay-defiled.


The fire goes out
We sit with our palms over it
Like the priest at the Consecration
We sit huddled old forlorn folk
Remembering, striving to hold against the dark-to-come
Some of the ballad-liveliness
When minds were supple
And there were poems hidden under the black-oak couple.

In One Moment

Dark incomprehensible woman suddenly
Stepped down beside me out of a place of green leaves,
Lovely as a remembered joy lighting up tragedy,
Younger than the larks-dawn yet older than a million eves,

Once, and with long white fingers tapped my shoulder.
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