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About this Poem 

“Most of the details in this little poem were simply notations from a summer walk I took out in Connemara in the West of Ireland where I live when I can. The birds are local, all except the red-tail kite, which was re-introduced into Ireland in 2007, when I read about it. I wanted it for the ‘lethal play’ to contrast with the other ‘pastoral’ details.”

—Eamon Grennan

The Life So Short...

Eamon Grennan

and larks rising out of dead grass 
	and lambs antiphonal between rocky outcrops
and the discreet one-note charm 
	of the willow warbler wishing itself 
into invisibility between sally trees 
	where desperate with its own 
single-mind intent the yellow-eyed 
	red-tail kite (still an edgy fledgling) 
prepares to put into lethal play 
	its own unforgiving art by twitching 
one nervous feather after another 
	in the precious seconds before lift-off

Copyright © 2014 by Eamon Grennan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 5, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2014 by Eamon Grennan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 5, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Eamon Grennan

Eamon Grennan

A Dublin native, Eamon Grennan is the author of several collections of poetry and his book Still Life with Waterfall was awarded the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

by this poet

poem
Through an accidental crack in the curtain 
I can see the eight o'clock light change from 
charcoal to a faint gassy blue, inventing things

in the morning that has a thick skin of ice on it 
as the water tank has, so nothing flows, all is bone, 
telling its tale of how hard the night had to be

for any heart
poem
Scattered through the ragtaggle underbrush starting to show green shoots 
lie the dark remains of rail sleepers napping now beside the rusted-out wreck 

of a Chevy that was once sky-blue and now is nothing but shattered panels and
anonymous bits of engine in the ditch by a path that was once a railway line
poem
Back they sputter like the fires of love, the bees to their broken home
Which they’re putting together again for dear life, knowing nothing
Of the heart beating under their floorboards, besieged here, seeking
A life of its own.  All day their brisk shadows zigzag and flicker

Along a whitewashed gable,