Thursday, October 3, 2013



Soon they will kill the falcons that breed in the quarry,
(it's only a matter of time:  raptors need space
and, in these parts, space equals money):

but now, for a season, they fly low over the fields
and the thin paths that run to the woods
at Gillingshill,

the children calling out on Sunday walks
to stop and look
and all of us
pausing to turn in our tracks while the mortgaged land

falls silent for miles around, the village below us
empty and grey as the vault where its money sleeps,
and the moment so close to sweet, while we stand and wait

for the flicker of sky in our bones
that is almost flight.

The poet is John Burnside.  He lives in Scotland, where he now teaches.  He was born in 1955.
The lovely flutter of co-life in the ending lines is wonderful.  The whole poem, quietly, is wonderful.