Leanne O’Sullivan - HOUSE LORE

after Michael Longley

Coins Under the New House

Before you lay any other stone
unpocket any silver coins you find
and bury them in the cornerstones,

a shimmer in that darkening hollow,
good enough to trade for money-luck,
light at the door, change on the tongue.

A Cure

Wanting to find a cure make this journey
to the boundary waters between two counties,
and once you put your foot outside the door

do not speak to man nor priest nor pope
only persist on your path to the high tide mark,
pray, pray, pray and fill your bottle for home.

A House Across an Old Path

When we built on the hillside
on an old right-of-way and I cried
on the bed through the night -

you remember-

the long parade of voices down
past the door and that path
all untrodden in the light.

The Glowing Sod

For luck, light a sod of turf
outside the new house and follow
the fire of the evening sun,

hillside smoking your hands and face,
so the nectar of heather and earth
are the first guests at your door.