A poem written on a camp at Stave Hill Ecological Park, in Russia Dock Woodlands, listening to the creatures that inhabit the trees



Here five stanzas of five lines hold the notes

Heard from other-than-humans, hidden or seen

On a dusk and dawn around a May night pole,

In a wood cupping the drawn circle of Stave Hill,

A cone beacon radiated by a city’s humming lines.


Seeing in an ultrasonic zone where cars can’t go,

Soprano pipistrelles are the jazz drummers

On their own radio frequency, hitting on flies,

Night long spinning light poles under canopies

For thousands of insects to stave off their famine.

And hush

Behind the trees whales are calling live from Antigua.

We circle an old wheelbarrow, a bath of hot embers

And talk of wind over mountains and gulf streams and

Of the years to come, then Big Ben chimes midnight

Across five kilometres as the carrion crow flies.

Hush sleep

Awake in lifting dark our conductor motions us stop.

We all face forward, an arrested…

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