Hawk and Harnser
by Geoffrey Heptonstall

Our need is as clear as the hour
of crystalline glister, a clean intuition
Old words rise from the ruins.
The phrasing is gracious by nature,
the conjectures immutable.
Meanings at midnight speak,

The word is proposed
in an inventory of the obscure
a jackdaw’s metaphor of darkness
though there is light by implication,
a swan’s feather floating
through many hungry minds.

We breathe the air of possibilities
on seeing a hawk return home.
When words begin to fail we learn
the truth is, our words weaken
the mastery of what we say.
All is revealed in the Harnser’s flight.


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