When I reach the half landing I will always

pause and at least glance through the long window

that frames garden, high wall, terraced roofs

and sky. I saw, one time, against roseate clouds

lit by the setting sun and billowing

in an easterly wind, dark like a line

of dancing letters, flock after flock

of black-headed gulls, crossing the compass

south east from the drowned meadows of the Dee

to the Mersey’s low tide mud flats north west.


For the last of the stragglers to pass,

it took long enough for a poem to catch,

for that slow, flickering, certain fire to take.

And I thought of caribou on the Tundra,

salmon in the Aleutians, swallows

over Timbuktu – and our loved ones,

their small migration north.




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  1. #1 by Ian Craine - September 30th, 2016 at 08:19

    Yes, poems can indeed catch in moments such as those.

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