after Michael Longley


Coins Under the New House


Before you lay any other stone

unpocket any silver coins you find

and bury them in the cornerstones,


a shimmer in that darkening hollow,

good enough to trade for money-luck,

light at the door, change on the tongue.


A Cure


Wanting to find a cure make this journey

to the boundary waters between two counties,

and once you put your foot outside the door


do not speak to man nor priest nor pope

only persist on your path to the high tide mark,

pray, pray, pray and fill your bottle for home.


A House Across an Old Path


When we built on the hillside

on an old right-of-way and I cried

on the bed through the night –


you remember-


the long parade of voices down

past the door and that path

all untrodden in the light.


The Glowing Sod


For luck, light a sod of turf

outside the new house and follow

the fire of the evening sun,


hillside smoking your hands and face,

so the nectar of heather and earth

are the first guests at your door.