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.
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.
Awake in lifting dark our conductor motions us stop.
We all face forward, an arrested…
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