For a bunch of reasons, none of which I'm willing to say more about here, the following words from one of Seamus Heaney's most commented upon poems struck a chord with me today when I chanced upon them….

From the Canton of Expectation


What looks the strongest has outlived its term

The future lies with what's affirmed from under,

These things that corroborated us when we dwelt

under the aegis of our stealthy patron,

the guardian angel of passivity,

now sink a fang of menace in my shoulder.

I repeat the word 'stricken' to myself

and stand bareheaded under the banked clouds

edged more and more with brassy thunderlight.

I yearn for hammerblows on clinker plans,

the uncompromised report of driven thole-pins,

to know there is one among us who never swerved

from all his instincts told him was right action,

who stood his ground in the indicative, 

whose boat will float when the cloudburst happens.