Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Oystercatchers in Flight

Sea’s stony greenblue shatters to white
          in a running swell under noonsky of cloudlight
where on a foamed-over cropping of rock
          a band of oystercatchers faces all one way
into a nor’wester so shafts of windlight
          ignite each orange beak in this abiding
tribe of black till you clap and their risen black
          turns white as they veronica on wind and
then away with them (shrill-pitched as frighted
          plovers only harsher more excited)
and riding the stiff wind like eager lovers straining
          into its every last whim: its pulsing steady
heart-push in every flesh-startling open-eyed
          long-extended deepening sea-breath.

Credit


Copyright © 2015 by Eamon Grennan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 18, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“This poem is a fairly straightforward visual report on its title, the birds being a common sight on the coastline I live beside in Connemara. I sought a contrast between their ‘abiding’ and the speed and dash of their taking off, their going. The lovers’ metaphor intends, I guess, a broadening or deepening of the natural facts. The absence of punctuation is a strategy to suggest the long-breath continuity and interconnectedness of things. The piece is from a coming collection.”
Eamon Grennan

Author


Eamon Grennan

A Dublin native, Eamon Grennan is the author of several poetry collections, including Still Life with Waterfall, which was awarded the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.

Date Published: 2015-06-18

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/oystercatchers-flight