Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dark Matter and Seamus Heaney

....an event, never the less, a collision between the present and dark matter of memory.

I had never read Seamus Heaney's poems, put off by his popularity and his Irish problems, until a few days ago, for first time, I was reading extracts of Heaney's poem, 'Station Island' in a book by Guite and that same night a travel program about Ireland included a visit to Station Island.

(The poem parallels Dante's, 'Divine Comedy', a book I'd bought in search of Beatrice and when she didn't appear I realised I had only bought the first volume, 'Inferno and Purgatory', paralleling the night's next program, the persecution of Christians by ISIS; ritual beheadings and a sea literally red with blood.)

I used to dive in 100ft dark waters alongside the Weaver's Castle. Sinking through the sea dark with plankton, seeing nothing, suddenly the sea bed of another world approached.  Sometimes my air ran out unexpectedly and surfacing fast have learnt to appreciate the joy of being on land and breathing freely and deeply.

In the poem the spirit of an IRA soldier and bomber describes his own death:

"When the police yielded my coffin, I was light
As my head was when I took aim."

There is much more on "the night waters"

"And I cried among night waters, 'I repent
My unweaned life that kept me competent
To sleepwalk with connivance and mistrust.'"

He has a vision rising out of the dark water:

"...A lighted candle rose and steadied up
Until the whole bright masted thing retrieved
A course and the currents it had gone with
Were what it rode and showed. No more adrift,
My feet touched bottom and my heart revived......"

Now I am thinking of the drowned lives of those in the Mediterranean, some clinging to the dead to survive.

There are few happy endings, at best we glimpse with imagination, finding "the visible alive with what's invisible"

(The Image is of a Dark Matter simulation by the San Diego supercomputer. Dark matter is the invisible 85% of universe and all around us)


6 Comments:

Blogger John Pendrey said...

Sorry I wasn't able to add image.
It is:
http://visservices.sdsc.edu/projects/enzo/

9:57 am  
Blogger stone drum said...

Hello John. takes me a while to enjoy the subtle ways that come with a man of words, and the discipline of poetry. Got lost in the dynamics of Scotland vote, and gradually getting back to what, is globally important to me. Not much interaction via comment field, but my blogs are infrequent. yes, football season just around the bend, have season tickets for 10 games, August to Feb. Walking distance from my residence to stadium, and look forward to rain and wind and hardship of talented men on a field of competitive game, in real time. Last of my warrior instincts and ways. Turned 72 this year, hosted bloggers from Canada in June, and am visible less and less, but continue to blog. Summer and blogging is inconsistent. Am pleased to have access to your blog and thoughts. Will continue to look in. And yes, find the sophistication of intellect without borders to be quite compelling. Good to see your blog and words, John.

10:33 pm  
Blogger stone drum said...


Hello John

was able to follow this link
www.poetryfoundation.org/audio/WhatsWrittenont.mp3

was able to listen and learn. In Seattle and is exactly like that

that kind of place, where the spirit of an event is the event itself

older and away from one's native land, needing a way to never forget

Listen to this story and relate. Its not me. Nor am I from Cambodia
But do know about displacement and dislocation, and find one's way back

to the place of our ancestors.

Appriciate this invitation to Seattle, where you will find me. In spirit

In physically bound essence.

Thanks John for this reminder of all things important to me. Like Where I am, and why.

4:47 am  
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10:24 am  
Blogger stone drum said...

Haven't figured out the best way to make exchanges with John The Bar Man.

so I leave thoughts in his one old blog available. Matters not to me based on, the idea we will over come computer problems and distance problems, and no problem at all, getting on the same wavelength. will find a way. To do this better. New blog to be done soon, so we have a new platform to do this. Cheers. Pleased we share comments and material.

12:05 am  
Blogger John Pendrey said...

Hi Stone Drum. I managed after a long struggle to post another blog here.

12:09 pm  

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