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Helen Macdonald

Wren. Full song. No subsong. Call of alarm, spreketh & ought

damage the eyes with its form, small body, tail pricked up & beak

                                                                                      like a hair


trailed through briars & at a distance scored with lime scent in the


like scrapings from a goldsmith’s cuttle, rock alum & fair butter well-



which script goes is unrecognised by this one, is pulled by the ear

in anger the line at fault is under and inwardly drear as a bridge in



reared up inotherwise to seal the eyes through darkness, the bridge


it does not speak, the starlings speak that steal the speech of men, 

                                                                                         uc antea


a spark that meets the idea of itself, apparently fearless.

Ah cruelty. And I had not stopped to think upon it


& I had not extended it into the world for love for naught.


From Staple No 62 (Spring/Summer 2005)