Poem: Wintering geese

What’s the command-and-control in a skein of geese?


Wintering geese

December, 2013

A skein of geese
make a V sign in the sky
and at some other signal
become a straggling line
perforated, fluid,
before regrouping under a new leader
whose pre-eminence
lasts a few seconds,
before some squawked
rebellion,
or change of heart
or weakness there
or strength here
starts a new evolution
as those dark silhouettes,
strong but ethereal,
directed or lead
by impulses pulsing in
lone birds or the whole flock,
by some radar or radio,
some change of wing beats,
some song of exuberance
or half heard cry of exhaustion
dictates a change of point-bird.

Urgent or relaxed,
hurried or coasting,
the birds head steadily
eastward above a rolling granite sea
leaving behind them
a furnace sky
as an unseen sun
escapes to America,
yielding to the moon.

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Publication date

26 January 2014

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RDN's poems

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Poems