The Choughs On The Cliff
A cry like a ‘ciao’.
For less than a minute,
we watch birds who wear
the black of a widow.
One goes into air,
one stays on pale granite.
One’s feather and bone,
the other’s all shadow.
who chink-chink-chinks in alarm
each time the sky falls,
as if night were
a great black cat
with keen moon eye,
is the same blackbird
who hauls up the sun
from under the horizon
with his pure gold chains
and sets each day in motion.
There’s been an event, here on the forest track.
A mass of stuff has dropped. Already a force
of small beings has fuzzed its domed surfaces,
while others dance, particles round a nucleus.
Here comes the dirt-borer, the true old dumbledor,
the lousy watchman, crawling like clockwork
on carbon fibre legs. Its back is a grooved shield,
its sheen a rainbow of indigo and black.
It comes in at an angle, then it hits
but doesn’t stop; asteroid striking planet,
slow bullet through flesh. It plunges its dark self
deeper and deeper into soft succulent shit.
Mark Totterdell’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and have occasionally won competitions. His collections are ‘This Patter of Traces’ (Oversteps Books, 2014) and ‘Mapping’ (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2018) http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/mark-totterdell/4594336680