Seamus Heaney Collected Poems

Seamus Heaney Collected Poems (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove
Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.

But when the slates came off, extravagant
Sky entered and held surprise wide open.
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.
– Seamus Heaney, 1995 Recipient of Nobel Prize for Literature




fire (Photo credit: pozek)

the wild beast of Violence
raged; consumed

me, my chest
its venom

destroying me
in the process

in the process
momentarily destroyed

I lapse
into a humbled delicacy:
by the depth of the fire –
the depths to which I had


then the beast within me,
that beast that became me,


too late.

© Millicent Danker
19 February 1999


English: Poetry

Poetry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

True spirit and flesh in word –
What meanings they carry!
What messages they convey!
See how they look
And sound and taste and feel
As they
Decorate a white page
Or pour out of a soul
To linger in the air.
They are not mindless
Yet they are not of the mind:
The words of poetry
The poetry of words
Are the outpourings of a god
From the depths of humanity.

© Millicent Danker
16 February 1995

A Birthday Prayer

Part of this year's twenty. Geez, I'm getting old.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“O God our Father, today we are remembering all the ways by which you brought us to this present hour, and we thank you for every step of it.

We thank you for every experience which has come to us, because we know that in it and through it all you have been loving us with an everlasting love.

For gladness and for grief; for sorrow and for joy; for laughter and for tears; for silence and for song; We thank you O God.

That you have kept us in our going out and our coming in.
That you have enabled us to do our work, and to earn our living.
For friends who are still closer to us, and for loved ones who are still more dear.
We thank you O God.

And today, as we remember the passing years, we thank you most of all for Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Help us to go on, certain that, as you have blessed the past, so the future is also forever in your hands.

– Prof. William Barclay, Scottish Theologian, 1907-1978


English: Crowds shopping at Borough market, so...

Crowds shopping at Borough market, south London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Outside my single-bed window
It’s a foggy winter morning in London
Is this the same town I went to bed in?
It was sunny yesterday, a T-shirt day;
Now I can barely see the Victorian terrace up the pathway

Grey hurt my eyes so I recoil
From the cold window pane
I think of layers to wear, cashmere
This is Sunday – this is so unfair!
Surely I’d be forgiven for not doing church in this weather …

Sharp smells from the Borough Market
Waft to recent memory
Sausages roasting, thick coffee brewing,
A vat of saffron paella smoking
Tourists gawking, tasting; everyone hawking

Bacon, eggs and a tin o’ beans
Frying up brings some warmth
if oily odour to a dense boudoir
I park in front of the telly: tea mug in hand, jammas smelly
Today the door bell won’t ring for sure.

© Millicent Danker
10 March 2013



English: View from Cairo Tower

 View from Cairo Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church and mosque aside
Friend and foe abreast
People come and people go
Like rats in a teeming nest
Of grime and dust
Hiding the splendid vastness
Of a Cairo that lusts
Kingdoms come and kingdoms go
Bust, seven thousand years later
I too come and go

From a balcony hung over
The longest and the dearest
Of your ancient rivers
I listen to your motorcars
Tooting on the bridges
Blinded by a desert sun
I brave a gaze across a sky
Azure as the insides
Of your domed edifices
Where multitudes worship and sigh

Your river green and murky
But not sluggish
Its boats grand yet grotty
In daylight fetish
Discord grown between
Its stillness and the manic
Music of your streets
Your river inert while all around it
Only bustle and beeps
Consume its revered silence

Your river is the nature
Which man has violated
But life goes on unabated
As you tear apart and put together
I leave my footprints at your exalted altar
To age like your Nile while
You preserve us forever
In your Kingdom of long ago
Your river and I will flow
While people come and people go

© Millicent Danker

17 April 2013


Two cups

Two cups (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One clearly male
One female
Macho and brown, brewed strong
Or softly prim, never long
Rich, pungent
Or light, fragrant
Whatever –
You like one or the other.

One clearly hale
One quite pale
Thick and dark, aroma-dense
Or faintly floral, of a sense
Lusty, sexy
Friendly, cheery?
Whatever –
You like one or the other.

Yet sometimes torn
When weather-worn
To choose between the two
Seasons dictate too
The type of brew
And birds of a feather
Whatever –
I’ll have one or the other.

© Millicent Danker
25 May 2013