I hear no birds at night
through thick concrete
and the lack is critical.

But walking out beyond
M road and A roads,
to a church burial ground

beneath yews and cedars,
a jay is loud with presence
and moves freely across

the grass, between stones.
I close my eyes hard to make
night speak out of sunlight.


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John Kinsella’s most recent books of poetry include Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems (Picador, 2016) and Graphology 1995–2005 (Five Islands Press, 2016). He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University and Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University.

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