Poems by Peter Branson

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Buried Treasure

by Peter Branson

From Canary Spring 2012

Peter lives in the shadow of Mow Cop and Congleton Edge to the east, overlooking the Cheshire Plain westward, between the watersheds of Trent, Mersey and Dee.

‘Phylloscopus collybita’: the Chiffchaff
     ‘The Observer’s Book of Birds’ Eggs’

Relentless siren call from woodland reach,
restless, twitch of the breeze, one small tick on
the tree’s trembling clock face, is hard to pin
and focus on. Aged ten, you spot him in
your guide: dark undertow, so expertly
concealed from view, dome-shape, most difficult
of all small nests to find. Locating cold’s
impossible. You watch; he reads your mind.
And then one day, part doggedness, part fate,
the cradle stares you in the face, pearls, sheer
as porcelain and flecked with gold, inside.
Possession point-nine of the law, the itch,
eyes everywhere, to blow the evidence,
a live time-bomb warm in your fist, you pause.

The Common Swift: Apus apus

by Peter Branson

From Canary Winter 2012-13

Not here this year, lost souls, homes worn away,
handhold to fingertips, like spent pueblos.
They don’t die back or hibernate, but cruise
vast distances above the turning world.
July evenings, they side-step, scissor-kick
thin air, etch pen ‘n’ ink invisible
tattoos. Banshees, dust devils in wet suits,
anchors on skeins of rising light, they’re soon
shrill specks in your mind’s eye. Time lords, stealth craft
hot wired to while away brief summer nights,
they preen, breed on the wing, use what the wind
blows in to feed, fix nests under house eaves.
Broadcast, they silhouette the urban sky,
shape-shift, in one heartbeat, present and past.

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