When All the Birds Were Called Away
When the back door opened in a sudden gust
the noise of the birds hit a lull
as though all the birds were called away –
it was like the silence I heard once
in a great cathedral, a foreign church;
in the museum after Sunday lunch
when we were young in the age of boredom.
When all the birds were called away
it was like pause at the start of every song that’s sung,
that moment in the jazz club
before they bang the cymbals and beat the drums
or like the hush in the stonebreaker’s yard
where once historical drama was played
by poets, pedagogues, fanatical hearts.
from A Song of Elsewhere, Dedalus Press, 2015