Tempo for a Winged Instrument

Full of light and music, the beating air.  

Light like a bird, Calvino says, not a feather.  

Over the water the shags come in to land


All wings, uh-ohing over the cliffs.

Rock, their nests, and bare the rookeries.  

Blue eye, blue eye, the wind plays fast and sharp.


They lift and ride and do not pick their fights.  

Oh, blue sky, blue day. Heart

Of muscle, thrumming down, and swift.

More Poems by Katharine Coles