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Argyle on Knocknagaroon

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Because he barely heard the voice of God
above the hum of other choristers—
batwing and bird-whistle, gathering thunder,
the hiss of tides retreating, children, cattle;
because he could not readily discern
the plan Whoever Is In Charge Here has,
he wondered about those who claimed to have
blessed assurances or certainty:
a One and Only Way and Truth and Life,
as if Whatever Breathes in Everything  
mightn’t speak in every wondrous tongue;
as if, of all creations, only one
made any sense. It made no sense to him.  
Hunger he understood, touch, desire.  
He knew the tenderness humans could do,
no less brutalities.  He knew the cold
morning, the broad meadow, the gold sunset.
One evening on the hill of Knocknagaroon,
the Atlantic on one side, the Shannon
on the other, the narrowing headlands
of the peninsula out behind him,
the broad green palm of Moveen before him,
it seemed he occupied the hand of God:
open, upturned, outstretched, uplifting him.

Source: Poetry (February 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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Argyle on Knocknagaroon

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