By Derek Mahon
Near the headwaters of the longest river
There is a forest clearing,
A dank, misty place
Where light stands in columns
And birds sing with a noise like paper tearing.
Far from land, far from the trade routs,
In an unbroken dreamtime
Of penguin and whale,
The seas sigh to themselves
Reliving the days before the days of sail.
Where wires end the moor seethes in silence,
Scattered with scree, primroses,
Feathers and faeces.
It shelters the hawk and hears
In dreams the forlorn cries of lost species.
It is here that the banished gods are in hiding,
Here they sit out the centuries
In stone, water
And the hearts of trees,
Lost in a reverie of their own natures —
Of zero-growth economics and seasonal change
In a world without cars, computers
Or chemical skies,
Where thought is a fondling of stones
And wisdom a five-minute silence at moonrise.