There were many things I wanted to say to you
before you left. Now I shall not say them.
Though the light spills onto the balcony
making the same shadows in the same places,
only I can see it, only I can hear the wind
and it is much too loud.
The world seethes with words. Forgive me.
I love you, but I must not think of you.
That is the law. Not everyone obeys it.
Though time moves past and the air is never the same
I shall not change. That is the law, and it is right.
I am the wrong direction, the dead nerve-end, the unfinished scream.
One day my words may comfort you, as yours can never comfort me.
Sometimes I am bewildered
By all this foolish energy
Miles from people.
I envy those
Who live upriver
At the quiet source.
Here we are forever
The incoming roar
Of life and the tides
That carry death out
Dermot Healy, from “Prayer,” The Ballyconnell Colours (Gallery Press, 1992)
“No image satisfies me unless it is at the same time knowledge.”