Just proofing for the last time my new collection All the Missing Names of Love (IDP April 2012), and this is in it:
At first they come singly, specks of dark spume
kited up from their rafting on the tranquil green-glass
sea; then in their twos and threes.
We hold our breath, let the slow
swell of the great Atlantic stretched to all
the directions breathe us.
On the western horizon a speck of dust
is a trawler; and below, the wooden boat rounds
the bows of the island and vanishes.
They crash land like parachutists with
their orange feet, webbed as penguins’,
asplay; rattle their wings in April air,
and one by one saunter closer, clumsy,
comic, their airborne elegance absent
here among the blond grasses.
On the cliffs, above the plaint of fulmars,
the puffins’ low chuckles creak like
antique hinges. They gaze at us
where we lie inches away, we who cannot
fly; they gaze from their strange exotic triangles
of eyes beneath gelled quiffs, black brows
crowning white cheeks; they with their stubby
rainbow beaks against our landbound drabs.
None of us moves. It’s in these moments
that we remember the truths behind words;
and recover an ancient longing; and our
kinship, our covenant, with wild.
© Roselle Angwin
|puffin on Staffa: Beatrice Grundbacher 2010|