Notebook

Hunting the Pluck

This Heaney poem makes me think of John 7:38. It is one thing to carry a spring of water, another to find it.

Cut from the green hedge a forked hazel stick
That he held tightly by the arms of the V:
Circling the terrain, hunting the pluck
Of water, nervous, but professionally

Unfussed. The pluck came sharp as a sting.
The rod jerked with precise convulsions,
Spring water suddenly broadcasting
Through a green hazel its secret stations.

The bystanders would ask to have a try.
He handed them the rod without a word.
It lay dead in their grasp till, nonchalantly,
He gripped expectant wrists. The hazel stirred.