trout [ 9 ] October 2001
Sally Ann McIntyre [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]

Feather-collecting in Westland

On the frieze, birdclaws
soften in flat water. Leg-stems bent
like thin sunrays
invite circles
into the tenderised landscape. A sudden Heron spills

dried summers
onto the curved waterglass
from its eye’s golden arc, from the blinding book
of its feathers, unthumbed
by rain. The dry sky

contracts and folds
the flower of my eye
to a mudweed creekscape -
a sore and watery

fringe. I kneel down
where darkness is constrained in dense
shades that shatter
their perfect circles
to edges of petal
and pollen. Birds must grow here

somewhere. I read
the catalogue of ferns, and follow
the lake trail, feather by feather
until my hands
are filled
with dead flight,
with spent pens. I can draw

no knowledge of seas,
or cities, or years with their soft
technology, against which all my flown
stories are whitened, unreadable
that also fall.


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© 2001 Trout &
Sally Ann McIntyre