Too Close to See
Mist in the evening lies on the cliffs,
headland in cloud, like in mountain hollows
where cows graze, lie on damp grass.
You think the weather should change slowly;
there is nothing gradual about weather.
White egrets follow cows. Some pick at grass,
catch insects the cattle disturb. Others sit
atop the bovine backs, eat ticks and flies.
Magpies and crows stare from branches
shrouded in the haze, stand awkwardly
on the roadside, poke at old remains.
Why are you upset at things that happened
before you were born?
We are close to clouds. Heaven is hidden
in the fog, the sky on the field.
On the roadside, a dead crow.
We don’t get to choose our time of death.
If we did, what would that make of us?
Life is like the remains of a tree;
or watching egrets. The birds, then the cattle,
a pastoral scene, a feeling of peace,
till the eye catches the dead crow.
Everything feels real, like the wind
on your body. But it will eventually pass.
Freedom is knowing this.
At night it rains. Drops fall on leaves,
branches, the space between. As it eases,
the ocean’s thud on sand hits hard.
No other sound; no lapwing, miner
or crow, no sound but drops, the sea.
When it’s time for a bird to fly north, it knows.
We have been. The empty cup
of tea left behind on the kitchen sink.
Where are you now? What are you doing
that is more significant than that empty cup?
I do not need a large rock to fall
into my stream, change my course.
Ion Corcos has been published in Grey Sparrow Journal, Clear Poetry, Communion, The High Window and other journals. www.ioncorcos.wordpress.com and he tweets at @IonCorcosHe is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. Ion’s website is