(Evening Roost - Pagelsham Essex.)
There were sand martins:
just a few -
the other year they settled here in thousands
and no-one knew exactly whence they came.
Speculation: chooses what it will -
sandpits in Essex, Suffolk, or Norfolk;
the steep-sided banks of our Anglian rivers.
They had more sand to come -
their sub-Saharan winters drew them on
towards the sun and other warming instincts.
The evening roost expanded:
the wires could not hold them -
strange staves - strange notations.
The music summer makes can overcome -
dirges, laments, threnodies,
all the valedictions and the strains
of mournful cellos.
beating their wings against the harvest moon:
that massive, molten, amber-full illusion
resounding: in the owl-light - like a drum.