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Poetry

Vigilante couchant on a pillow of air
at hover in the Hopkins-eye; excess of fire, self-contained, prone
to set the heather steppes ablaze:

Rufus Raptor, of the falcon family,
master of the chimney-stack, mistress of the house-sparrows
flustering beneath in the gutter-dust;

Prospero of the island, of moorland and coast,
upland and down, power-bolt out of the clear blue sky on field-mouse
foraging in the fodder-grass and fescue;

color of the autumn rust-ferns,
blackspot, buff, all mastery: will rook the rook of its twig-nest,
out-pie the magpie;

nothing personal in it, no anger, no lament,
goes courting over the fall of the sea-face; till soon there will be
three squinching raptors, fluffy-fresh

and steel-boned, infant bill-hook
of a hook-bill. Kestrel as fact, as sunlight and storm,
as feature of island, sharpener

of the silence, tumult of the Lord
lordly in this soul-scape, thunder-light on the sea-stack, a monk
in tears, huddled under the cold and the coming dark.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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