We all have our reasons
To leave warm beds for darkness;
some will never run satisfied
as if the stopwatch can ever be beaten,
I crave the peace to finally be alone,
from broken pavements and rutted roads
beyond orange streetlight’s stupor glow,
along Hilsea Lines where guns were stowed,
waiting for a command that never came.
To Eastern Road then Farlington,
a spit of marsh and reclaimed land
sky so deep and wide and every shade;
to slip into the birthing of each new day
to lose myself in this halfway place.
Counting species beyond the concrete wall
Brent Geese from an Arctic winter,
An Oystercatcher’s brilliant flash,
tucked in wings of a Dunlin flight,
the keening peal of Curlew
above the tinnitus toil of traffic.
On the way out and on the way in.
Seagulls, always seagulls,
just once I saw a barn owl ghosting
through bare trees soaked in mist,
three seconds that will stay for ever.
Slower now I plod the same way home
from nature reserve to inner city
along this shadow-strewn path.