Birds who lose themselves at the edges of the sky

Birds who lose themselves at the edges of the sky
For RB

It’s November, it’s early, and the rain has started up.
Dawn hovers beyond the window, skirts full of birds
who, let loose into light, will become a presence
in the courtyard, asking. What we think we see
is a reflection of what is; is a question.
Birds know about coming and going; about staying still.

The sea is breath at the edges of the land.
What we know of the beyond shows itself
where air and water meet – a line
that is no line at all but a slight shift in register,
in hydrogen, in oxygen, in substance, in shade and hue.
We are les oiseaux qui se perdent au bout du ciel.

The Zenrin says the pine tree is a manifestation
of wisdom. Here in our time the sacred ash
is dying. Lead me to the wells at the ends 
of the land, let there be pure water.
In the field, the fox is an emissary, walker-between-worlds.
In the stony bank the wren in her littleness pronounces the names of God.

In your country (my country) the day is as much sea
as land. You move into it as a wave back to ocean.
Day begins in your heart as a gesture of sound from silence.
Here the ashes, the valley, even the stream joining hills
are all ways of talking about silence.
In the courtyard, with the light, the birds create themselves.

Autumn’s a slowing pulse. In the bare ash
jackdaws perch like quavers, all throating
the same song: West. One last moon daisy.
A tatter of cranesbill. In the underworld of the bridge
the word in the water is here, now, always. These ciphers
in space, marks on ether, echo-locators. I close the notebook.

Roselle Angwin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: