Ourselves again


That Sunday morning we had travelled far.
 We stood a long time out in Tollund Moss:
 The low ground, the swart water, the thick grass
 Hallucinatory and familiar.
 A path through Jutland fields. Light traffic sound.
 Willow bushes; rushes; bog-fir grags
 In a swept and gated farmyard; dormant quags.
 And silage under warps in its silent mound.
 It could have been a still out of the bright
 "Townland of Peace", that poem of dream farms
 Outside all contention. The scarecrow's arms
 Stood open opposite the satellite
 Dish in the paddock, where a standing stone
 Had been resituated and landscaped:
 With tourist signs in futhark runic script
 In Danish and in English. Things had moved on.
 It could have been Mullhollandstown or Scribe.
 The byroads had their names on them in black
 And white; it was user-friendly outback
 Where we stood footloose, at home beyond the tribe.
 More scouts than strangers, ghosts who'd walked abroad
 Unfazed by light, to make a new beginning:
 And make a go of it, alive and sinning,
 Ourselves again, free-willed again, not bad.

Seamus Heaney


  1. ‘Unfazed by light, to make a new beginning: / And make a go of it, alive and sinning,’
    Wonderful. And such sounds – swart, grags, quags! And the descriptions, just right, making me slow down and pay attention.
    Thank you, Anthony. Hope you’re doing ok.

    Liked by 1 person

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