SYBIL

part two of his Tryptich

SEAMUS HEANEY

My tongue moved, a swung relaxing hinge.
I said to her, ‘What will become of us?’
And as forgotten water in a well might shake
At an explosion under morning

Or a crack run up a gable,
She began to speak.
‘I think our very form is bound to change.
Dogs in a siege. Saurian relapses. Pismires.

Unless forgiveness finds its nerve and voice,
Unless the helmeted and bleeding tree
Can green and open buds like infants’ fists
And the fouled magma incubate

Bright nymphs … My people think money
And talk weather. Oil-rigs lull their future
On single acquisitive stems. Silence
Has shoaled into the trawlers’ echo-sounders.

The ground we kept our ear to for so long
Is flayed or calloused, and its entrails
Tented by an impious augury.
Our island is full of comfortless noises.’

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