By Peter Halstead

Waking up in Bedford, eyes still closed,
The lawn outside the bed unfolds.

Crystal clear and dripping with the night,
A bird call wobbles through the white,

The blank page of the daylight's prose
Blooming slowly from a crow's

One cry, the empty spirals
Of the sound silhouetting miles

Of sky and land, the valley wall
And weeds: a random call

That brings along as much as
Possible of what it touches,

Passing fields and leaves to head
Unerring for the morning bed

Where the secret nature of the wheat
The tiny echo turns concrete,

The smell of seeds made flesh, as
If the ear could see the grass

By waiting for the forest sound
And subtle echo of the ground,

Or hear the low clouds in the sky
From a raven's dampened cry,

Nature sounded with the tonics
Of the psyche's electronics,

Views that might be puzzled at
By the radar of a bat,

Forests where a falling tree
Is certified by ESP,

A day invented from a breeze,
From inklings bounced off leaves—

A world enflamed without a word
By the routine of a bird.

May 22nd, 1996