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The spirit wrestling gallery


In the spirit wrestling gallery

there are no doors or windows,

only wind, rustling and

wrestling with itself.


A bird has escaped inside.

It flies on the back of the wind.

It drops and circles

but it doesn’t land.

There is a receding wall.

The bird flies at the wall.

It flies and flies, and the wall

grows further and further away

until the bird is just a shimmer

on a distant horizon.


*          *          *


This morning there was a magpie

stamping on our roof.

I shouted, and he flapped away

insolently slow. In another world

he might have been a spirit

and I would climb onto my roof

and wrestle with him

wing by wing, claw by claw,

while he grew large, or small,

or suddenly slipped away like wind

and I was left on the roof

with my dog looking up at me, puzzled.


*          *          *


In the spirit wrestling gallery

there is a sense that something

is about to happen – an earthquake

shuffling itself along a fault line,

two boards opening strangely

onto the sky, or there might even be

a combine harvester, rumbling through

most unexpectedly.



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