Introducing this year's winner of the prestigious TS Eliot prize for poetry - from Belfast - Sinéad Morrissey:
Lighthouse - Sinéad Morrissey
My son’s awake at ten, stretched out along
his bunk beneath the ceiling, wired and watchful.
The end of August. Already the high-flung
daylight sky of our Northern solstice dulls
earlier and earlier to a clouded bowl;
his Star of David lamp and plastic moon
have turned the dusk to dark outside his room.
Across the Lough, where ferries venture blithely
and once a cruise ship, massive as a palace,
inched its brilliant decks to open sea—
a lighthouse starts its own nightlong address
in fractured signalling; it blinks and bats
the swingball of its beam, then stands to catch,
Then hurls it out again beyond its parallax.
He counts each creamy loop inside his head,
each well-black interval, and thinks it just for him—
this gesture from a world that can’t be entered:
the two of them partly curtained, partly seen,
upheld in a sort of boy-talk conversation
no one else can hear. That private place, it answers,
with birds and slatted windows—I’ve been there.