Pink-footed geese are wintering on the marshes
west of here – flocks from Spitzbergen, Iceland,
Greenland. This late October morning
the garden is full of noises: the trimming
and shaping of hedges, bushes, trees,
the blowing and gathering of leaves –
and high cries as a skein flies eastwards
to feed on wheat stalks in the stubble fields.
The afternoon is disturbed by sirens –
not fire or police or ambulance.
There have been explosions somewhere north
we are informed – but all is well. At twilight,
as usual, directly overhead
the geese, in their centuries, return,
cries like ululations.
GreenlandIcelandmarshespink-footed geeseSpitzbergenstubble fieldsululations