The Sunday posts 2013/ Blackberry Picking.

Seamus Heaney
1939 - 2013


Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.


Photo - creative commons licence

It seems appropriate to mark this weeks passing of Seamus Heaney here.

Sorry for missing last week. Work is such an interference in life!    

Comments

Yamini MacLean said…
Hari OM
Perfect. RIP SH.

you were missed Alistair, but so busy here didn't have time to chase ya!! &*> YAM xx
Indigo Roth said…
Hey Alistair! Wowsers, what a bummer! Pesky grey rot! And yes, sad to see Mr. Heaney go. Indigo
dbs said…
Not fair indeed.

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