After Amergin

Michael Longley

I am the trout that vanishes
Between the stepping stones.
I am the elver that lingers
Under the little bridge.
I am the leveret that breakfasts
Close to the fuchsia hedge.
I am the stoat that dances
Around the erratic boulder.
I am the skein of sheep’s wool
Wind and barbed wire tangle.
I am the mud and spittle
That make the swallows’ nest.
I am the stonechat’s music
Of pebble striking pebble.
I am the overhead raven
With his eye on the lamb’s eye.
I am the night-flying whimbrel
That whistles down the chimney.
I am the pipistrelle bat
At home among constellations.
I am the raindrop enclosing
Fairy flax or brookweed.
I am waterlily blossom
And autumn lady’s tresses.
I am the thunderstorm
That penetrates the keyhole.
I am the sooty hailstone
Melting by the fireside.
I am the otter’s holt and
The badger’s sett in the dunes.
I am the badger drowning
At spring tide among flotsam.
I am the otter dying
On top of the burial mound.