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Lay for the Day 5th May


1919: the birthday of the Irish piper Seamus Ennis.


Uillean Pipe Music

It’s the wind that plays through
the bent grass, the blown reed,
through the hollow trailing legs
of a wading bird,

and eyes’ fire tracing the known shape
of a hillocky mountain,
a stream of whittling water.

Grass battered to fire
by the wastrel wind,
water like blown glass

and the true dark note of the black soil
that drowns all it buries,
onward, ominous hum
in the entrails of the universe,

tottering song
and the nasal noise that the stars make,
sounding like wide, cold silence.

Bent towards the fire, singing
and playing onward towards the embers,

things dying
and getting up and dying again
along a thin wind playing
in the long brown grass and reeds.

 
John Gibbens
from The Improvised Version, Vol. 2

 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar


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