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30 September 2020

Owl — Cambridge

A new poem by John Kinsella.

By John Kinsella

It’s not hearing the owl
but straining to catch a phrase
of refrain – the whiplash trees’
disported machinery
greenless as night-desires.

Election day and before dawn
which is late, not released on time,
the short-eared owl is wind-driven
and scrawl of rain ignites
damp tapers – fireworks

of change or sameness,
of crucial events signalled
as rodents work to dry
fur as fast as drenched, full 
moon gone, sun unarriving.

John Kinsella is an award-winning Australian poet. His most recent collection, “Insomnia”, is published by Picador.

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This article appears in the 30 Sep 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Twilight of the Union