The Life So Short...

Eamon Grennan
and larks rising out of dead grass 
	and lambs antiphonal between rocky outcrops
and the discreet one-note charm 
	of the willow warbler wishing itself 
into invisibility between sally trees 
	where desperate with its own 
single-mind intent the yellow-eyed 
	red-tail kite (still an edgy fledgling) 
prepares to put into lethal play 
	its own unforgiving art by twitching 
one nervous feather after another 
	in the precious seconds before lift-off

More by Eamon Grennan

Cold Morning

Through an accidental crack in the curtain 
I can see the eight o'clock light change from 
charcoal to a faint gassy blue, inventing things

in the morning that has a thick skin of ice on it 
as the water tank has, so nothing flows, all is bone, 
telling its tale of how hard the night had to be

for any heart caught out in it, just flesh and blood 
no match for the mindless chill that's settled in, 
a great stone bird, its wings stretched stiff

from the tip of Letter Hill to the cobbled bay, its gaze 
glacial, its hook-and-scrabble claws fast clamped 
on every window, its petrifying breath a cage

in which all the warmth we were is shivering.

Untitled [Back they sputter]

Back they sputter like the fires of love, the bees to their broken home
Which they’re putting together again for dear life, knowing nothing
Of the heart beating under their floorboards, besieged here, seeking
A life of its own.  All day their brisk shadows zigzag and flicker

Along a whitewashed gable, trafficking in and out of a hair-crack
Under wooden eaves, where they make a life for themselves that knows
No let-up through hours of exploration and return, their thighs golden
With pollen, their multitudinous eyes stapled to a single purpose:

To make winter safe for their likes, stack-packing the queen’s chambers
With sweetness.  Later, listen: one warm humming note, their night music.

Memento

Scattered through the ragtaggle underbrush starting to show green shoots 
lie the dark remains of rail sleepers napping now beside the rusted-out wreck 

of a Chevy that was once sky-blue and now is nothing but shattered panels and
anonymous bits of engine in the ditch by a path that was once a railway line 

cut between small hills whose silence hasn't been broken by the rattle and 
lonesome-blown whistle of a train for fifty years and whose air hasn't filled 

for ages with my childhood's smell (set by Seapoint on the coastal line) of coal 
smoke and hot steam puffed up in great cloud-breaths out of a black-sooted chimney.