Red Kites

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March 15, 2015 by The Citron Review

by David Cooke

Plague birds, exquisite and focused,
who scavenged Shakepeare’s unspeakable
streets, they have drifted back
from the borderlands of extinction
on tense, splayed wings.

Circling soundlessly
in the rinsed clarity of spring light
they have staked their claim
to limitless acres above
the Chilterns’ wooded heights.

And was it months, or even a year,
my own dreams of flying
took possession of sleep,
making something of nothing
in gaps between the days?

 My free falls and soaring
seeming purposeless, inspired, 
until, ceasing, they left me earthbound,

trying to keep my eyes 

on this twisting road.


David Cooke’s poems, translations and reviews have been published widely in the UK, Ireland and beyond. He won a Gregory Award in 1977. His retrospective collection In the Distance was published in 2011. A collection of more recent poems, Work Horses, was published by Ward Wood in 2012. His next collection, A Murmuration, is scheduled for later this year.


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