The Thinking Poet


May Miracle

Salvaged nesting box

Held together with plastic, rope-lashed to birch.

Red in talon and beak

Magpie or crow stormed it,

Leaving it gaping, north exposed,

Until compassion compelled.


Virtue is its own reward:

For hours I have watched day by day

The comings and goings of the wedded pair,

Dynamos, obedient to blind urge,

Grub gatherers from the wild cherry a stone’s fling away.


In relays they come, timing impeccable,

Briefly alight to set a lifeless branch atremble,

Just for a steadying second,

Then faultlessly target through the barely adequate hole.
Tomorrow’s blue-tit bounty for all aeons, unfolds.


The miracle is in the constancy, the urgency,

The selfless spark held in the gram of flesh.

Daily we celebrate the puny joys we contrive

As though the onward sweep of our reckless striving

Must usher in Nirvana,

Nano-this, micro-that: never fulfilling,

Piling high trash, generation on generation,

To stay the mirage, ever shifting.


But in this May miracle, this untiring feathered flash

Within that tiny, downy, bright-eyed, sharp-billed head

Resides the elemental grains

Of God’s creative art,

The quintessence of the eternal will,

Signature of His eternal delight.



June 2005