27 April: A Book of Birds
Quick among the hedge thorns and seeds,
a greenfinch works the shadows of a lane
between a cornfield and an estate.
The lane climbs to a wood, now in sunlight;
the finch continues in the houses’ shade,
insubstantial, heedless of anything.
A flock of dunlin has descended on the flats,
rustling like a change in the wind. They clutter
the foreshore and the near air, their whistles
falling across the dunes. Here and there
along the coast, the sea flares white against walls
and railings, sluicing the road in its retreat.
Rook with his pale cold face and scraped beak
hangs in a tree, wings shattered in the wind.
February shudders and strains, iron-grey,
coarse, obdurate; other rooks lift and fold away
to the horizon with its bare stubble, the sound
of their embarkation calm and blatant and dark.
Three draft poems from a work-in-progress in collaboration with artist Mark Dunn.