Saturday, October 8, 2011


Birds Lifting (M.A. Reilly, 2011)


A rowan like a lipsticked girl
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

-Seamus Heaney, 1979

Man Watching (M.A. Reilly, 2011)


She came every morning to draw water
Like an old bat staggering up the field:
The pump's whooping cough, the bucket's clatter
And slow dimineundo as it filled,
Announced her. I recall
Her grey apron, the pocked white enamel
Of the brimming bucket, and the treble
Creak of her voice like the pump's handle.
Nights when a full moon lifted past her gable
It fell back through her window and would lie
Into the water set out on the table.
Where I have dipped to drink again, to be
Faithful to the admonishment on her cup,
"Remember the Giver," fading off the lip.

                                                        -- Seamus Heaney

Fog Lifting (M.A. Reilly, 2011)


  1. Beautiful combination of Seamus Heaney's poetry and your photos, Mary Ann! I heard Seamus Heany read in Scotland some years ago, and I can still hear him reading "Song". Breathtaking.

  2. Catherine, Thank so much. He is one of my favorite poets. I have been thinking about Ireland lately. Even began a job search, wondering what education posts might be available for a professor. A beautiful place.

  3. Mary Ann, the beauty and depth of your work often takes my breath away and triggers a tear or two. The combination of these images and Heaney's poems speak to me of a longing for home, the place your heart and soul define as such. I wish you the best in finding a post in Ireland, a place I've longed to go to. Who knows. Perhaps the day we finally get to meet in person will be there in the land of your birth and where roots of one side of my family remain.


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