A thousand webs barely contain the green thrum
of the hedge and the night-drop dregs of silver
burst in the mouth; reek like zest. The eye irradiates
with a clamour of birds blackening into horizon.
Colour begins a slow thunder across the sky, multiplies
and changes; sings in bird-throat to the beat of wings.
The air hives with birth, vibrates out of shadow.
Everything burns, everything rings, including me.

The great bell of the world vibrates and I am drunk
with winter-shine. The concrete blazes. The red tang
of seven o’clock and the vein-belt of walking brazen
to the frost leaps through me. An hour before petrol-stink
and the shrink of people diminishing into a rush, here
in the open-throated song of morning, I am in the clear.

from Dissonances (Bluechrome Press, 2007), © Nigel McLoughlin 2007, used by permission of the author

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