winter migrants

a mass of moth-eaten cloud
threadbare and spun across
a bullish moon




an animal wakes
when I walk in winter,

wrapped against
a withering wind,

solitary,

on a Solway flat

 
 
 
winter migrants gather
in long black lines

along a silver sleek

heads held back,
throats
thrust toward

an onshore rush

occasionally cruciform,
static

in a flying wind

as though
in obeisance
to the sea
 
 


 
retracing steps
washed out

by whimpering silt

each tide a season
in the pecking mall
 

 
 
they call as I approach,
an upright spelk

on their shelf,
 
gathering my notes

and theirs

we scavenge
ahead of our shadows


waiting for what

the tide brings in
or leaves out
 

 
 
purple,
hedged cloud

edged gold

    hung
on silver slates
of sand


diverted
leaps of light

surrender water

risen
from rivulets

roughed
from rage


repealing waves
repeat


a curlew’s
estuary echo


who,
but you

      and the wind’s
wake?
More Poems by Tom Pickard