Wednesday, June 04, 2014


(It hangs there by a thread, denser than thistledown,
Reluctant to fly, a weather vane that traces
The flow of cloud shadow over monotonous bog -
And useless too, though it might well bring to mind
The plumpness of pillows, the staunching of wounds,

Rags torn from a petticoat and soaked in water
And tied to the bushes around some holy well
As though to make a hospital of the landscape -
Cures and medicines as far as the horizon
Which nobody harvests except with the eye.)

Michael Longley
(Two middle verses of a four verse poem contrasting the 'poppies'
of war with the bog cotton of healing and reconciliation)

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