Magpie & the dead

From the chapel, a muttered kind
Of evensong

As if the day, chagrined 
At prosaic hours

The door prows a wave

Holds still, splits
Along the keel

Where one boat capsized
Two resurface
A tilted line, in reflection
The horizon bisecting monuments and earth

A magpie, creaking out
Gives the evening silver

They are not the dead

But fly languidly from grave to grave
Perching on our arch and glib effacements

Graffiti thrown like sticks
On the gateway’s
Unprepossessing defences 

Songs to silence, songs to wake

A boat so full of holes and binds
Of curled and flaked wrought iron 

You could easily step through
To a more pitiable contradiction

Of discomfiting formal attire
In splashed pretty chiaroscuro 

Head cocked, listening
A magpie reverence

Dreaming the quiet dreams
Of the dead

What the dove said

In my bird garden
I asked a dove
If she mourns lost winter afternoons 
The sky furiously balming 
Your brow against the glass
Breathing shallow
But, with that reluctant mist
That warns of life in mirrors
Fast evaporating

The bird replied
Though we are 
Neither not so cold
Nor defined
by the shape of rain
That we would forego
Our easy days
Still, when the magpie sings
We will find an eave to hide behind

Life is fraught
Bridges far between 
The house you build
By tumbling roads
Will fall one day to the bright stars
Of soft, emerging asters
You think a bird a fool, but
How she watches, how she waits
On her flimsy precipice 
The magpie is a winter mountain