Poem of the week: Murmuration

A new work by Matthew Geden

Matthew Geden. Photograph: Dedalus Press

Matthew Geden. Photograph: Dedalus Press


In a time of darkness smoke stacks
are soon lost, a vapour trail drifts
in the dawn light. I catch your breath
in the bedroom air; watch it swirl
round my fingers, slip through the crack
in the door, become a thought
cloud in the sky. We are shaped,
you say, by the past, the things
we dream about while the world
moves on. I murmur your name; a message
to the gods who have long departed,
wonder where we go from here.


As the day is dying small crowds gather
by the trees, the fields of Timoleague.
Night is falling fast but the wings
have it, starlings burst from branches,
twist and climb, all movement is here
in the curves and swerves, the air
brushes upturned faces as they rise
and fall, disappear like a farewell kiss.

Matthew Geden was born and brought up in the English midlands, moving to Kinsale in 1990. His most recent collection is The Place Inside (Dedalus Press)