Because it tells me most when it is most alone,
I hold myself at bay to watch the world
regain it’s level-headedness, as harbours do
when keels are lifted out of the in autumn.
This is not unconsciousness. Seen from above,
the trees are guanoed sea-stacks in a greeny cove
full of gulls’ primeval shrieks and waves’ extinctions.
Here birds safely crawl between the bushes,
wearing their wings like macs with fretted hems.
The air’s a room they fill to bursting with their songs.
All day the common warblers wing it up
and down the scale , see-saw, hammer-and-tongs.
This is not aimlessness. It is something industrial.
A starling cocks its head at the blackbird’s coppery notes.
All I hear of them in the hide reminds me
that the body must displace itself for music,
as my body has, inside this six inch slot of light.
What converses in a thrush’s throat, burnished, tarnished ?
It’s news endures no longer than the day does.
Catríona O Reilly ; Hide taken from The New Irish Poets, publ Bloodaxe, 2004, Ed Selina Guinness.