Yet more often than not it's been the poems which have found me, lightly falling at my feet, unassuming, like long-travelled leaves from some faraway country.
The poem I need always finds me, in the same way that the person I need, however improbable, finds me too. We find each other - and ourselves. However dark, however difficult. A bit like this:
If anyone knows about sullen loneliness, you do
Yet there's a grin in the wind, heartless and cold
There's a dark in the darkness, beauty of streams
I low my beams to you, from tunnel to tunnel
as if the frozen air had a distinct personality
Standing at the lonnen head, holding leeks, you
sawed my glance in half with yours. What keen eyes!
Such strange, out-dated clothes. What's inside counts.
Leaning into the tall grass grandness of your alert stance
towards the west and the brilliant beauties of Ireland,
I know now why you took the sickle hook
backing the beasts into their shutdown shed
You chopped the gate for want of sound
but you had sound, all sound, my purr mistress
my fantastic slavver merchant, when we peeled the sky
together we had water and silence and fire and togetherness
the lights of all you didn't say knots my life and all dreams.
--Barry MacSweeney, 'Daft Patter', from Pearl in the Silver Morning (1999) in Wolf Tongue: Selected Poems 1965-2000 (Tarset, Northumberland: Bloodaxe, 2003), p. 322.