Where the linnet calls
It breaks big white back
Of winter; craggs out
Grey veins dry stone walls
Of territory.

Cock Ring Ouzel calls
Cock Lapwings tumble
Short Eared Owls hunt
Wasteland: incomers.
Birds come upstream bones
Moved by these false springs.

Then the Curlew calls.
Spring staggers from brok
en white shells, tubers
Unsteady or sharp
Suck out hill’s feathered

There the Golden Plover
Takes fledglings across
Warming ice: snow broth
Whispers down to crack
The river’s quiet
Hibernating voice.

Copyright Paul Brookes, i.e. Me. Published in broadsheet 1993

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