The Silence/Warning
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Why I am Not a Painter
Apple that Astonished
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DIGGING



Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun.

Under my window a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade,
Just like his old man.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.


Seamus Heaney
What keeps me writing is that
I can only know through writing
my major sense organ
is apparently a pencil.
~ Kay Ryan
An Obsessive Combination
Tasks
Teaching the Ape to Write
People Like Us
Man Writes Poem
Writing
poetry readings
The Silence
You Go to School to Learn
Dear Editor
The Trouble with Poetry
I Ask You
Excerpt
Rereading Frost
Home Fire
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Want Ads
The Trouble with Poetry - 2
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Sonnet
Poetics
Thesaurus
The Secret
Of Modern Poetry
live, on stage!
A Considerable Speck
The Best Cigarette
Digging
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