[e/eə:] [ai] [ei] [ɪ] [i:] ʌ/ ʊ] [ɑː] [əʊ] [ɔː] [ɒ] [æ] [uː]


When I was taken aside that day

I had the sense of election:

they dressed my head in a fishnet

and plaited leafy twigs through meshes

so my vision was a bird's

at the heart of a thicket

and as I spoke I moved

like a voice from a shaking bush.

King of the ditchbacks,

I went with them obediently

to the edge of a pigeon wood -

deciduous canopy, screened wain of evening

we lay beneath in silence.

No birds came, but I waited

among briars and stones, or whispered

or broke the watery gossamers

if I moved a muscle.

'Come back to us,' they said, 'in harvest

when we hide in the stooked corn,

when the gundogs can hardly retrieve

what's brought down.' And I saw myself

rising to move in that dissimulation,

top-knotted, masked in sheaves, noting

the fall of birds: a rich young man

leaving everything he had

for a migrant solitude.