‘Seamus’ © Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Today I went to see him where he rested from his labours.
I never spoke a word, nor he for that matter.
In that quiet corner of Bellaghy the birds sang.

Though not the best of Christians, I managed a silent prayer.
Sheltering in eternal peace in his beloved Northern soil,
the lad from Castledawson and master of the pen.

I once tried to emulate him but gave up the ghost.
The task was impossible but the learning curve, priceless.
Although his pen is stilled, he remains the eternal teacher.

In simplicity he rests beside a jig sawed wall of stones.
A green scraggy hedgerow for a sheltering headboard;
and above, his cautionary message about walking on air.

Few are praised by presidents and lauded by academia;
but he was one. I fear this land will ne’er see his like again.
I left, thankful that I had stood before a giant of literature.

He need not fear that warning now, he need not walk on air;
for what soul needs to float when it is adorned with wings.
I left quietly. Birds chirped in a green Bellaghy hedgerow.

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Seamus Heaney RIP.

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.