The news of Seamus Heaney’s death has seeped even beneath my stone. This is the title poem from The Haw Lantern:
wintry haw is burning out of season,
crab of the thorn, a small light for small people,
wanting no more for them but that they keep
the wick of self-respect from dying out,
not having to blind them with illumination.
sometimes when your breath plumes in the frost
it takes the roaming shape of Diogenes
with his lantern, seeking one just man;
so you end up scrutinized from behind the haw
he holds up at eye-level on its twig,
and you flinch before its bonded pith and stone,
its blood-prick that you wish would test and clear you,
its pecked-at ripeness that scans you, then moves on.
Rest in peace.