by Eamon Grennan
Soon enough, of course, the eyes adjust to this huge absence in which
Trees begin wintering, their coloured draperies given over, leaving
Naked shapes, ramifications, a reminder of what’s at the heart: a going
Away, the brilliant vertiginous vocabulary of leaves, of being-in-leaf,
Stripped down to sheer unmitigated syntax, this sense that what begins
In anchorage and rooted thickness will taper till the endmost twigs are only
Hair-wavers wincing in air, tiny cleavers of light, solid shadow-nothings
Of live wood reaching out the way wiry white tendrils of roots go groping
Down in the dark. Now
emptiness is all, and you may read what this late
Radiance has left in its wake: signs—stark silent—saying what’s what.
Reprinted with permission from The Quick of It, Graywolf Press, 2005.
Eamon Grennan taught for many years in the English Department of Vassar College. His poems are published in America by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. His most recent volume is There Now (2015). For the past ten years he has also written and directed short plays for voices on Irish subjects for Curlew Theatre Company in Connemara. He lives in Poughkeepsie and the West of Ireland.