Every year the curlews would come back to the land of Mynydd Bach. They'd always return at the beginning of March and every year I would try to capture the haunting cry in words.



The curve of its cry –
A sculpture
Of the long beak:
A spiral carved from bone.

It is raised
From the ground,
Is wound high, and again unwound,
To the stalker nodding
In a marshy field.

It is the welling
Of a cold mineral spring,
Salt from the estuary
Dissolved, sharpening
The fresh vein bubbling on stone.

It is an echo
Repeating an echo
That calls you back.

It looses
Words from dust till the live tongue
Cry: This is mine
Not mine, this life
Welling from springs
Under ground, spiralling
Up the long flight of bone

from Cut of the Light: Poems 1965-2005 (Enitharmon Press, 2006), © Jeremy Hooker 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Jeremy Hooker in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.