The Early Purges

by Seamus Heaney

I was six when I first saw kittens drown.
Dan Taggart pitched them, ‘the scraggy wee shits’,
Into a bucket; a frail metal sound,

Soft paws scraping like mad. But their tiny din
Was soon soused. They were slung on the snout
Of the pump and the water pumped in.

'Sure, isn't it better for them now?' Dan said.
Like wet gloves they bobbed and shone till he sluiced 
Them out on the dunghill, glossy and dead.

Suddenly frightened, for days I sadly hung
Round the yard, watching the three sogged remains
Turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung

Until I forgot them. But the fear came back
When Dan trapped big rats, snared rabbits, shot crows,
Or, with a sickening tug, pulled old hens’ necks.

Still, living displaces false sentiments
And now, when shrill pups are prodded to drown
I just shrug, ‘Blood pups.’ It makes sense:

'Prevention of cruelty' talk cuts ice in town
Where they consider death unnatural
But on well-run farms pests have to be kept down.

"Having perfected our disguise, we spend our lives searching for someone we don’t fool."
– Robert Brault (via creatingaquietmind)

(via bastardette)

"Nine tenths of the ills from which intelligent people suffer spring from their intellect."
– Marcel Proust (via tattoolit)

(via alecialynn)

Things I Do Not Understand And Definitely Am Not Going To Talk About


  • Managing expectations.
  • Usually my own.



Spent a week in the city. Talked to no one until last day. Asked a girl if she wanted to go throw rocks or something into the ocean. She said no and her nose was not pretty. Went anyway. Licked the wind. Tastes like salt and rotten chocolate. Spent Monday on three airplanes flying back. A baby girl sat in the window seat and cut her fingers on a catalog. Forgot the color of my luggage. Spent Tuesday asleep. And Wednesday and Thursday. Spent March awake. Spent two years waiting for some man to propose to this girl I knew so I could be done with it. I’m done with it.


Don’t listen to me; my heart’s been broken.
I don’t see anything objectively.

I know myself; I’ve learned to hear like a psychiatrist.
When I speak passionately,
that’s when I’m least to be trusted.

It’s very sad, really: all my life, I’ve been praised
for my intelligence, my powers of language, of insight.
In the end, they’re wasted—

I never see myself,
standing on the front steps, holding my sister’s hand.
That’s why I can’t account
for the bruises on her arm, where the sleeve ends.

In my own mind, I’m invisible: that’s why I’m dangerous.
People like me, who seem selfless,
we’re the cripples, the liars;
we’re the ones who should be factored out
in the interest of truth.

When I’m quiet, that’s when the truth emerges.
A clear sky, the clouds like white fibers.
Underneath, a little gray house, the azaleas
red and bright pink.

If you want the truth, you have to close yourself
to the older daughter, block her out:
when a living thing is hurt like that,
in its deepest workings,
all function is altered.

That’s why I’m not to be trusted.
Because a wound to the heart
is also a wound to the mind.


"VI. He never broke my heart. He only turned it into a compass that always points me back to him.
– Clementine von Radics, In Defense of Loving Him (after Megan Falley)

"I’m alone
in a body that can’t
love me."
– Margaret Gibson, from “The Waiting” (via awritersruminations)

(via rememo)

"It’s just so strange.
You used to love me,
and now you’re a stranger
who happens to know all
of my secrets."
– Clementine von Radics (via clementinevonradics)