The Curlew by Irene Watson



Irene Watson is a mid-career artist, poet and art teacher. She uses text and poetry within her work and this has been exhibited in pop-up community spaces in Scotland and exhibited in America and New Zealand. Irene has collated poetry anthologies written with adults with disabilities and has co-written touring plays. Recently, her poems have been published online and in anthologies. She is currently collating her first poetry pamphlet.























and I saw the curlew right there, on the plateau

on the day when raindrops were held

in mirrored cupulas.

Just there, you know, where the hill hollows out

and the scattered sheep winter over,

but I have never seen it again, never

and every day I drive along that single-track road, I stop

in the passing place, where we used to stop,

next to the harrowed fields,

where the lichen trees dwarf easterly

and a stillness picture frames the apex

     amongst the steep crags, you know

where you can view the greying river

across to the clouded hills.

I wait and I look and I look again

but it is never there and now I am thinking

was it a trick of my mind?

Have I imagined that next to the blackened hedgerows

the other worldly beak, so elongated, so refined

curving for the earth, worm searching

is my memory confused, hypnotic?

And then, you said,

that it couldn’t be, that it wouldn’t be

it must have been something else

or even that I must have imagined it.

It was just before I saw that rose-pink balloon

in the middle of nowhere, floating

every day now, with less air, deflating slowly

and now it hovers on the top

of the lochan, in the lee of the hill

weathered, annulled even

and the pink reflection is its last blush, at dusk.


Irene Watson


Gilbert White Poems and Stories