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Lay for the Day
20th March

A seasonal song from the book of Praises, to mark the approach of the spring equinox.

2. Of the Blackbird’s Night Music

A grey-ringed pink-rimmed eye
says you’ve been a lullaby
too often, starting towards the equinox
in the third hour
your song like the rain that sweetens midnight.

Premature muezzin,
summoning from an aerial
or gutter minaret,
in darker blue than cobalt glaze,
a mate, to seize the day and hatch out summer;

unparalleled Parker among birds,
the urban avians’ matchless inventor,
invert and anagram those
scintillating almost-melodies,
proffer your glinting jets,

the profligate makings of human music,
which we who grow in sorrow,
if not haltingly, then slowly raise:
a tuneful oak, deciduous, symphonic,
where you and she may nest.

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar