The tiercel-gentle, so sharp and sure,
tears out from blinding coverts of the air
and flings away, chasing some shimmered hope
into the windless falls on falling blue that stand
in mass of poise upon the echo flash of sea.
His is the floating sky, his to rise into,
there among the dizzying and the silent fire:
he is the moment of our lives,
mere glimpse and passage, the fading joys,
his sunburst careless form wheeling forever
up and out of this broken, speechless world.
Knuckled may lie this dark of earth,
chill and crackled into clod and fist of rock,
flux and seed held and dozing fast. Yet always
and further, far above our pale whisperings,
our gritted hope and set of jaw, he sails. Out
beneath the blast of sun, muscled and free,
he climbs onwards into his sheer and fearsome
violent peace, driving forever into
the beating heart of life.
Dominic Cooper is a British novelist who won the Somerset Maugham Award for The Dead of Winter in 1976. He lives in the Scottish Highlands where he works as a clockmaker. (“Tiercel-gentle” is a male peregrine falcon.)
This article appears in the 17 Feb 2016 issue of the New Statesman, A storm is coming