Empty Nest Syndrome (with Louis MacNiece)

What of the nest?  The nest itself is now harder to see  through the fresh green leaves –

and, since the incident with the crows, I’ve only seen the magpies once more.  Perhaps they are lying low and incubating their eggs, or perhaps they’ve been reading Louis MacNiece –

In a between world, a world of amber,

The old cat on the sand-warm window-sill

Sleeps on the verge of nullity.


Spring sunshine has a quality

Transcending rooks and the hammering

Of those who hang new pictures,

Asking if it is worth it

To clamour and caw, to add stick to stick for ever.


If it is worth while really

To colonise any more the already populous

Tree of knowledge, to portion and reportion

Bit of broken knowledge brittle and dead,

Whether it would not be better

To hide one’s head in the warm sand of sleep

And be embalmed without hustle or bother.


The rooks bicker heckle bargain always

And market carts lumber –

Let me in the calm of the all-humouring sun

Also indulge my humour

And bury myself beyond creaks and cawings

In a below world, a bottom world of amber.

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