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Glyn Hughes, from A Year in the Bull-Box

June

Have you seen how a whitethroat, tossed here on winds,
a hundred feathers weighing no more than one, sings?

From claws upwards it thrusts into that poise,
a balanced aim for that open beak
scissoring the air with bird-scales,
throwing them sideways as it twirls
down branches, never failing.
It cannot help but spill its song.

Listen. When the whitethroat sinks into the wood
because though treading quietly one has startled it
or a shadow that could be a hawk has unsettled it
the song with which it did not hesitate
grows louder, magnified from the heart of trees.

Thus here I sing,
gently arriving. Then the mind quickens to its purpose
while creatures bless me with disregard.