The Stone Curlew by Davina Allison


– For hearts so pierc’d (Pope) –


  1. Compline


– like seawater

slate-grey with the turn

of your wing

that slows

to the deep tide.

Still as the ship’s bell

under the fall

of water or

the black scatter

of thyme

spilt over the feathered-spur

of your dark

hollowed throat –

like sea rope

cast in the low-slung

wind – the soft

wreck of your dying

heart chambered

in seawater –

where your dark,


keeps the sea’s long watch

over the cold.


Photo credit: Julie


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