AUBADE

am l, stalking the swampy fields as far as the lake
as if searching for a sign that things will turn out right
in the end? Suck of wellingtons in turfy water, green
gleam
of a fern in the lea of a rock, a little yellow flecking
in an acre of furze, some fresh impulse in the sudden
sunlight
pushing through bundled cloud. Something augurs, I
believe,
in these worker bees who have ventured out, seven of
them,
to scent the south wind, what sweet forecasts it may
hold
between its teeth for the queen, their needed heart in
the dark,
their single longing. Their plain style is: suffer, survive:
whatever turbulence the weather sends, bring back
something.
AUBADE
Walking Renvyle strand at sun- -up, I see a gull that’s
in the right place at the right time turn to a bird of fire
for a second. And here on a slope of sand I see an otter
must have had to scramble, his big foot dragging, his
unwavering concentration still stapled to the prey
he must be- whatever the word for it- imagining,
its flesh and blood a little continuous detonation
in his brain, the salt- blue hugeness of the Atlantic
only a cloak he wears at dusk and dawn. Thereness
is all, it seems: that burn of chance, that quickened
breath of appetite adding up to what this world
offers- glitter and shadow, pang of absence, the way
this day keeps coming on, we meet, we disappear.

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