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This poem is taken from PN Review 32, Volume 9 Number 6, July - August 1983.

Poems Michael Bird

THE SWIMMER AND THE FIELD

The loaded heads of sedge bend with the wind
Along the water's edges where I swim,

The genuflection of these airborne lands
Above whose boundaries summer pores and towers.

A stronger current draws me into line
Where the stream's warm core of refuse eddies on

Towards town and bears my sensuality
Of sport in lithe, absorbed complicity,

And equally abets the little sun
That drops from a remote and colder sky.

The shadows gathering in a pool avow
To swallow down their mouthing volume whole

And headlamps start to shriek between the trees,
Shuddered and felled by trunks too dark to pierce.

The hot path heaves with grass against my feet
...


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