Searching for Seamus

Searching for Seamus

… in a warm July you lay
Christened and smiling …
While I, a guest in your green court,
At a West window sat and window …
— S. H., ‘A Peacock’s Feather’

1. MARYLAND, USA | 1989

When I first saw you —
I was a mere face

in a word-rapt audience —
while you, on stage,

constructed lyrics,
letting the tip of your tongue

and silver-white hair
tremble in the perfect tenor

of its substance,
its fluid frequency

that even a tested equation
found hard to balance.

Eccentricity has its gifts,
its genius containing

its own sanity and calm.
The Haw Lantern opened

its jaws — the title
page pronouncing your space

and inviting my deep want
of your ink — the sepia-

scribbled “as I pass (p.39)”
celebrating with

the peacock’s rain-dance,
my own country’s pride.


Today on Sandymount Strand
I looked for you, as you did

for your father’s ashplant
many years ago.

I don’t know why I went
on this search

knowing full well
you weren’t there,

but elsewhere gracing a shoot
“plunging through glar

and Glitty Sheughs”.
But the script for me

remains unfinished …
the dotted line of words,

of memory, of epiphany,
is something I know

tide won’t wash away.
The secret lies

in accepting word’s own
intent, one that scripts

one’s own fate, with its
desire, fatality,

and its elocuted magic.

[This poem also appears in FRACTALS: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1979-2012 by Sudeep Sen]