Two Verses

Lucifer, and, Terns at Hong Kong Harbour
.

These two poems reflect just a little of the awe and joy watching birds has given me over the last forty years.

.

Lucifer (Sterna paradisaea)

.

Arctic Terns live almost entirely in light for their entire lives. They fly 30,000 km each year, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back. Their return – south or north – heralds the light, and spring.

.

Land freezes;

Dawn and dusk reach to each other;

Birds flee, or huddle, silent.

Sunset and blood stain the snow:

Ice grows.

Where the world spirals and all northings meet;

And the sun is always or never,

The tern circles, once, twice, three times

Memory and stars beckon.

Light will fail here;

Sunset and blood stain the snow

Before the final dark, before

Ice and silence triumph.

The tern circles, once, twice, three times

And not again; south sings in its bones

And blood; stars set and rise.

Sunrise spirals and stretches; light prevails.

.

Terns at Hong Kong Harbour

.

Spare black on white, swift to frothing wake

in pewter waters; silver sweep of wing

bright counterpoint to lightning’s rake

rending the heavy hanging cloud; hovering,

holding; plunging to take the shining glide,

the curve and scale, beating upward against

the drag of wave, watching for the gleaming slide

of fish, awareness stretched and tensed and held

to dancing, diving grace.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Two Verses

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s