BLACK INK

A poem by Sean Chard, written after observing hundreds of rooks in a copse while lost in the summer fields of Norfolk. Illustration by Pedro Semeano.

Tree tops liquid full of black ink
Absorbed by leaves in tones of jet

Three hundred prayer flags flap and kink
Arrive and set out from the wet

Pierce clear sky of empty blue
Like drifting plumes they rise and skew

In pairs the ghosts emerge and call
To rusted fields the couples fall

And find the banks of broken land
In gangs that rob the soil unmanned

Shards of darkness scattered there
They cast away to live on air

Three hundred prayer flags flap and kink
Tree tops liquid full of black ink


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