Corncrakes

Not one among the rushes
None in the meadows
None where the farmer dropped to his knees
Lamenting the crumpled nest its requiem
____wringing his hands
____like a chaplain
_____bringing bad news
______to the door
____in the night time
Them’s rare wee things – them’s rare!
_______… and rarer still
_______the small clutch
_______a universe among the rushes
Small planets grounded in troubled heavens.
These scraplings scurry in frantic sorties
To grub in the undergrowth
_______amongst the brackens.
It is the night, it is the stars impress
Africa, Africa, Africa
Opening the night
_______terra incognita –
There is no way
_______only opening the night

Listen, first intently;
_____closely – no further than at arms length
_____and then, when everything is detailed,
_______clocked & inventoried & only then,
_____double the circle
Listen, double the circle, Listen
_____sense unreachable places,
_____calm places at the eye
________of hurricanes.
Flee your fever
_____and with unholy impetus
_______hurl
Into the nomadic sky,
_____into severe places
_____into unspeakable theatres of ablation,
Into mystery, uncertainty,doubt,
_____and tell everything
_______when
_____you
return.

Maria McManus

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