Three new poems by Michael Longley


Hawthorn: Unsuperstitiously I snapped a hawthorn sprig, And kept it alive in a mug of tap water:

It reminded me of one of his sentences,

Bud clusters, the makings of snow in May,

October sunshine, and a blaze of hardhearted

Haws on the original Aughawillan hedge.


I have locked overnight in my antique Peugeot

At the channel, close to stepping stones, the proofs,

Uncorrected, of my forty years of poetry. What

Would I add to the inventory? A razor shell,

A mermaid's purse, some relic of this windless

Sea-roar-surrounded February quietude?


I find a rusty horseshoe where skylarks

Rise from the sheepshitty path, God-sparks,

Sound-glints for bridle and bridle hand.

I am the farrier in this townland.