Poem of the Week: Changing of the Guard

A new poem by Maurice Harmon

Maurice Harmon photographed by Brenda Fitzsimons

Maurice Harmon photographed by Brenda Fitzsimons


A year ago grey crows invaded the garden,
Asserted themselves
Seemed to distance the existing birds –
Thrushes, blue tits, robins, magpies –
It was as though the natural order had been upset.
Unhurried, sure of themselves,
The grey crows put manners on the rest.

A month ago the magpies struck back
Occupied the tallest branches of the evergreens
All faced in the one direction
Each one clearly visible.
They held the high ground
The takeover complete

Maurice Harmon’s collections include When Love Is Not Enough: New and Selected Poems (Salmon). He has also published many critical studies of contemporary Irish writing