Moyra Donaldson

Greba Cras

Greyabbey Old Cemetery

We have disturbed the crows
into a fierce wing clattering
hoarse croaking black circling,
threatening to wake the dead

but the dead stay sleeping,
all God’s lovely loans
crowded together, tumbled
together: nothing to distinguish
one bone from another now.

Depending on the soil, the type
of wood, it’s about a year,
two at most, until a coffin
collapses in on itself.

Four hundred years of head-
stones and over the wall, older
stories still, the Manx princess, her
building of thanksgiving for safe landing
and the monks, wrapping their cloaks

around themselves, becoming crows;
out above all walls, flying into the arms
of the village women who waited
in their beds for the sound of wings.

Moyra Donaldson lives and works in Co Down, NI as a social worker and creative writing facilitator and mentor. She has published four collections of poetry, the most recent, Miracle Fruit, published in 2010 by Lagan Press, Belfast. Her Selected Poems is forthcoming from Liberties Press, Dublin in July 2012. Moyra was one of the readers at the first Sheffield Poetry Festival in 2011.

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