There is a storm of blackbirds.
Each bush has one.
I go to look at Venus
Who tracks the Sun,

Instead, find Smudge in orbit,
Flailing, cross,
Three inches from the fine moss
Below the blackbird’s nest,

So I spend half an hour                    
Sun beating on my head
Weaving rough string to cat-nets
Half-drunk on windblown flowers.

The fiddling squeak of blackbirds
Fills my head like sun.
Come home to quiet: a small world’s end,
The nest of blackbirds gone.

I bang to tell the neighbours
But by the darkening step
The glossy bushes rustle
A fluting yap

Young birds in subdued hunger.
The day reels on, begun
With lift and lilt of blackbirds.
Venus has crossed the Sun.

Alison Brackenbury

If you have any comments on this poem, Alison Brackenbury would be pleased to hear from you.