patrick kavanagh

On An Apple – Ripe September Morning

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On an apple-ripe September morning
Through the mist-chill fields I went
With a pitch-fork on my shoulder
Less for use than for devilment.

The threshing mill was set-up, I knew,
In Cassidy’s haggard last night,
And we owed them a day at the threshing
Since last year. O it was delight

To be paying bills of laughter
And chaffy gossip in kind
With work thrown in to ballast
The fantasy-soaring mind.

As I crossed the wooden bridge I wondered
As I looked into the drain
If ever a summer morning should find me
Shovelling up eels again.

And I thought of the wasps’ nest in the bank
And how I got chased one day
Leaving the drag and the scraw-knife behind,
How I covered my face with hay.

The wet leaves of the cocksfoot
Polished my boots as I
Went round by the glistening bog-holes
Lost in unthinking joy.

I’ll be carrying bags to-day, I mused,
The best job at the mill
With plenty of time to talk of our loves
As we wait for the bags to fill.

Maybe Mary might call round…
And then I came to the haggard gate,
And I knew as I entered that I had come
Through fields that were part of no earthly estate.

 

– Patrick Kavanagh

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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Canal Bank Walk

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Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me, that I do
The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Grow with nature again as before I grew.
The bright stick trapped, the breeze adding a third
Party to the couple kissing on an old seat,
And a bird gathering materials for the nest for the Word
Eloquently new and abandoned to its delirious beat.
O unworn world enrapture me, encapture me in a web
Of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beech,
Feed the gaping need of my senses, give me ad lib
To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech
For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven
From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven.

– Patrick Kavanagh

http://www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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A Star

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Beauty was that
Far vanished flame,
Call it a star
Wanting better name.

And gaze and gaze
Vaguely until
Nothing is left
Save a grey ghost-hill.

Here wait I
On the world’s rim
Stretching out hands
To Seraphim.

– Patrick Kavanagh

http://www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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My Father Played The Melodeon

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My father played the melodeon
Outside at our gate,
There were stars in the morning east
And they danced to his music.

Across the world bogs his melodeon called
To Lennons and Callans
As I pulled on my trousers in a hurry
I knew some strange thing had happened.

Outside in the cow-house my mother
Made the music of milking,
The light of the stable-lamp was a star
And the frost of Bethlehem made it twinkle.

A water-hen screeched in the bog,
Mass-going feet
Crunched the wafer-ice on the polt-holes –
Somebody wistfully twisted a bellow’s wheel.

My child-poet picked out the letters
On Time’s black stone,
In silver the wonder of a Christmas townland
The winking glitter of a frosty dawn.

Cassiopea was over
Cassidy’s hanging hill.
I looked and three whin bushes rode acoss
The horizon – the Three Wise Kings.

My father played the melodeon,
My mother milked the cows
And I had a prayer like a white rose pinned
On the Virgin Mary’s blouse.

– Patrick Kavanagh

http://www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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Primrose

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Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer
Of one small primrose flowering in my mind.
Better than wealth it is, I said, to find
One small page of Truth’s manuscript made clear.
I looked at Christ transfigured without fear–
The light was very beautiful and kind,
And where the Holy Ghost in flame had signed
I read it through the lenses of a tear.
And then my sight grew dim, I could not see
The primrose that had lighted me to Heaven,
And there was but the shadow of a tree
Ghostly among the stars. The years that pass
Like tired soldiers nevermore have given
Moments to see wonders in the grass.

– Patrick Kavanagh

http://www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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