Perched, a red-winged blackbird watching me,
its fencepost newly staked, bark on, topside down.

At arm’s length, rusted fence pliers bounce along a span of wire.
One. Two. Three. “Hemlock, see, twists over time—”
that’s Cunningham’s voice, “stretches the wire.
Set one post wrong-way-to and it’ll sag right there.”

Came a day I read Seamus Heaney
and with newfound pride—my own name
and that red-winged blackbird there,
down Vernon River way.


Seamus Heaney wrote a fabulous poem titled St. Kevin and the Blackbird.


Here he is: Bob Cunningham. Bob passed on 24 Feb., 2016

4 Replies to “Cunningham”

  1. VLBENNETT–“UKRAINIAN VICTORY TO ALL OF UKRAINE!” @vicklbennett, 2022: “So in a way, Kevin, as this poem was sort of inspired by Heaney, I guess that makes it an “after” or ekphrastic poem. I haven’t read much Heaney, but both my brother and I like the poem “The Spirit Level.” He always had so much to say in quite a reachable way.”

  2. Kitty Donnelly @KDonnelly79, 2022: “This is a poem I read several times, finding new treasures. The image of the post with the ‘bark still on’, the interjection of the narrator telling us we are hearing ‘Cunningham’s voice…’ & that intriguing red-winged blackbird! Thank you.”

  3. Very engaging. I transported into the scene you painted with these words.

  4. I found this fascinating!! You have quite a way with words Kevin!

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