Monday, 16 May 2011

Of Warbler and Quail by Rae Spencer

Drab little she in the brush
Muttering her song to lure
Someone else

But only I respond
Drawn across the dune
To listen closer

As a child I spoke to quail
I whistled out their bobwhite name
To hear them shriek it back

But this little warbler
Outside my beachfront door
Her accent slips my ear

Measures of water wisdom
Refrains of woven nest
Codas that fall silent

Because I have come too near
To understanding
What is lovely on this shore

Of daily tide
Of sandy soil and storms
Of quickening flocks

That speak their sea-swept names
In secret tangled tongues
Of salty sail and oar

And then they fly away
While I struggle, yearn to say
What I remember of briars

Of dry summer streams
And winter dreams
Of silent quail

Hungry among the thistle
Of home, my distant valley home
So many years from here

Rae Spencer

1 comment:

Kay Middleton said...

The poem itself undulatees like the tide between past and present, between happiness and sad. I loved it.