song thrush

Alert, poised, head cocked, listening:
stab and swallow wriggle worm soil glistening;
spring-hop, stop; attend, repeat:
toss off the luscious living meat.
 The rhythm of the rapt bill
 is jerking syncopation: cock, nail, kill.

Relaxed and ostentatious, head back, trilling,
singing the glories of expert killing,
lilting the evening, rippling the water,
with glutted glissandoes of sweetest slaughter.
 Paradoxical thrush, can cosmic order
 ever reconcile the melody and the murder?

[Published in Ironstone 1 (2005)]

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