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July 2015, vol 11 no 2

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Claire Everett

A Mind to Listen

I looked for him again today, in the usual place.

For a moment, the poplars were still, then as the breeze took up its baton, there came that hush such as stirs an auditorium. But the woodwinds made no sound. Wherever he was, it wasn't here.

none other
the one and only
the very same
though his numbers are legion
across the shires of spring

And when at last I found him, it was there, in the fork of a still-bare cherry in a small backyard. His breast was open to the sun, the rain, like the mottled stone that adds its voice to the chorus of the mountain stream (for even rocks have voices if we have a mind to listen).

But his was the song of every stone (rough or smooth),every pebble (banded, brindled, kibbled, or of one colour), not so much washed but suffused with clear, cold water to the furthest reaches of until.

Until they have become those sunlit, moonlit, starlit swirls and eddies, the glittering dregs in a hiker's cupped hands.

rain pelts
from the bluest of skies . . .
I know, song thrush
I know, sometimes poetry
is akin to madness

Note: "rain pelts" was first published in Gusts 21, Spring/Summer 2015