by Mark Totterdell

Thrift and soft grasses have made me a mattress
beneath the high overhang’s dark rocky buttress.

Two choughs are feeding, each crimson bill probing,
describing an arc round its centre of being.

Each has been bound with a band of bright plastic
to keep them from floating off into the mystic.

‘This pair’ said the birder ‘are brother and sister’,
tut-tutting his fear of genetic disaster.

No bird is blacker, but when they fly over
the cliffs in late sunlight, they turn a pure silver.


Mark Totterdell lives in Devon. His poems have appeared widely in magazines and have won competitions. His collection This Patter of Traces was published by Oversteps Books in 2014. A second collection is due from Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2018.