The Hollybrook Harp – a poem by Robert Stewart Heaney

The Hollybrook Harp

Boxed in deep sedimented paint and peat
and time, you are the willowed window
through which we listen darkly.

Phantom strain above intersecting joints
you wire us into the dim reverberations
of sustaining songs and sorrows.

Cassocked in unremarkable layers
black light alone illuminates your depths 
and bares your tattooed shoulder.  

Absence is windowed by your frame.
Still, bog priestess, it is you
that moves the air to music.

Robert Stewart Heaney is a teacher and writer. He is the author of three scholarly books and editor and contributor to numerous collections on religious thought, history, and the intersections of art and transformative action. Originally from Ireland, he holds a D.Phil from the University of Oxford and lives and works in the USA.

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