The Murmuring.


Starlings gather in the evening,

Huge flocks of little birds,

Whooshing in over the river at Gardenfield.

Moving fast and collecting stragglers as they come.


Patterns form,  

They wheel, and fling themselves

Across the February sky in this clear light,

Under clouds marbled from white to grey.


Sing in praise of this evening

And the birds in the sky



Shoals of birds,

Rushing in over the bare ash trees

Low hills and bleached winter grass

 In stone-walled fields.


Arriving from Kilbannon -

Kilcreeventy, Garra Cloon

Árglorach Killaloonty,

 Airglooney, Báile na Gadai.


And still they come,

 still they come,

And still they come.


But attention is riveted

To the big picture,

 A magic-carpet tapestry of dancing silhouettes, sky savers.

Whirling, spinning, diving,

 Rolling formations in time and space,

Perfection in many dimensions,

 And in all directions -


Folding back upon themselves

Their density deepens,

Darkens, and moves on.

Thousands upon thousands as one,

Battalions on parade,


The birds in the sky

Sing in praise of this evening



The light imperceptibly fading,

Suddenly it’s time –

The starlings drop down from their magnificent airplay

Into McGrath’s evergreen plantation

And are still.


The sky is empty,

Except for the clouds

In the dark evening.

And the murmuring.


Sing in praise of this evening

And the birds in the sky