The passing of Seamus Heaney was like a bolt out of the blue for the Irish people, none more so than for west Belfast community worker Sean Brennan.
In a tribute he penned the following lines:
He dug throgh lines, mining miracles, of bog oak
Word rhymes. A human chain, condemned
For not milking the hunger: whatever you say.
Escaping the early purges, sowing similes, he
‘Set the darkness echoing’. Through farm lit door
He dug deep, into hope and history, ‘to stare
Big-eyed Narcissus’ into adult dignity, with his
Divining pen. Between his finger and his thumb,
Jerking ‘with ‘precise convulsions’, he wrote
‘The Cure’, for Thetis. He was a spirit level, ‘sky born and
Royal snake-choker’, a ‘station-island’, where blackbirds
Rested for inspiration. By God, he was a Bellaghy man,
Who could handle a pen. He dug with that.
‘And in August’… his soul grew up out of our grave.