You Turn Into Birds

A flock taking fright as I clump into the field
You dot the October sky like painting a myth by numbers.

I try to call you down with a handful of rough seeds
But already you’re a vee of geese migrating and I can do nothing but follow.

When you land it’s in high branches as a crow, blacker than rain
On an exposed hillside in winter, to gleam your eyes through me.

I’m mesmerised by that trickster shine of Satan curled ‘round harlequin,
And you leap into the air somersaulting with a flap into a thrush,

You want to dig worms out of my belly, so I let you.
And when you Kingfisher rise you’re as big and bright as Whitby

On a summer Saturday, all feather people and battery beaked.
On your huge Woodpecking shoulder the Abbey sits like a premonition of us.

Now the Kittiwake you are holds all the bay in wind bent wings,
You’re flung at me by weather, where you pierce me as a hawk; the clang

Of your talons magenting to my iron heart and you yank me up with you
Into the sky where you know every current and I know nothing.


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