By Marianne MacRae 


We go to the cliffside in the evenings.

It has become our ritual to watch,

our backs pressed against the eyes of the air

that clamours behind us.

Mother packs a picnic; I have on shorts, no shoes.


In the valley faces move

through curdled darkness.

Birds hang at awkward angles,

at once too large and too small,

their balloon eggs falling

slow through chequered light.

Too light to break, they bounce

and bowl along the grass-bare site.


Our clothes ripple in the blink of the air,

the sky-blue blue of Dad’s bowling shirt laments

a bad season, all but forgotten in the soil clod of this evening

where the clouds and the trees become

the same green, feathered brown with dances of dust

rising from the valley.


Down there a man is dowsing for water

with two bent sticks,

two ticking needles turning slowly

into and away from,

into and away from his chest,

in time with the bursting bubble of his heart.


We peer through the fish-tank weeds of the woods

glimpsing catches of stories told in part then left

for us to choose our own adventure.


1 thought on “Watchers

  1. Pingback: The event on Friday 6 February | Until Only the Mountain Remains

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