Seamus Heaney

Bog Oak

A carter’s trophy
split for rafters,
a cobwebbed, black,
long-seasoned rib
under the first thatch.
I might tarry
with the moustached
dead, the creel-fillers,
or eavesdrop on
their hopeless wisdom
as a blow-down of smoke
struggles over the half-door
and the mizzling rain
blurs the far end
of the cart track.
The softening ruts
lead back to no
‘oak groves’, no
cutters of mistletoe
in the green clearings.
Perhaps I just make out
Edmund Spenser,
dreaming sunlight,
encroached upon by
geniuses who creep
‘out of every corner
of the woodes and glennes’
towards watercress and carrion.