Dawn Chorus for the Dead

Alice Kinsella
They rest until the day breaks
And the shadows flee away.
The rooks wake before day breaks 
and deliver me their cawing 
through the canopy 
cloaking Haworth cemetery.  
Parsonage windows dark 
                could be sleeping 
church locked overnight
                could be sleeping
                slip of cobbles under foot 
clip clop clip clop 
                Victorian light black mist 
                streetlights like fires
               catlike I slip through shadows
tip tap slap slap 
               of my footfalls 
close distance
chaos peaceful in the absence 
of all earthbound heartbeats 
other than my own so tightly 
held beneath my tongue 
the bells ring welcoming 
seven Sunday morning
bing bong bong bing
all houses snooze still
rooks scream their panic 
cries of another day –
dawn chorus for the dead –
crescendo, crescendo!
Until the shadows break
And the day flees away
They rest.
Page 93, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124
Issue 124

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 124 contains new poems from Paula Meehan, Ciarán O'Rourke, Lizzy Nichols, Mark Ward, Gabriel Rosenstock, Özgecan Kesici, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and many other compelling voices. Also included is Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin's remembrance of her Cork childhood, excerpted from The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, a book of essays reviewed in issue 124 by Caitríona O'Reilly. Other books considered in this issue include collections from Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Mark Granier, Tara Bergin, The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, and the Collected Poems of the late Dennis O'Driscoll, and there's also a short interview with Thomas Kinsella along with an essay on Kinsella as poet and civil servant. Another Kinsella is this issue’s Featured Poet, Alice Kinsella, and all artwork for the issue is supplied by artists associated with the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Great Denmark Street, around the corner from Poetry Ireland.

Available now to purchase online or in all good bookstores.