today is not the first of autumn
nor is it the last of anything.
the land is not yet picking oakum
and gleaning ground - but is whetting its wing
for flight to more summer - unlike the four
final swifts heard squealing in Jericho
which cannot stop racing and soaring
an instant. tawny sheep have embargoed
shorn doormat slopes where walls stand eight bales high.
the ground is wasted as a granary.
as for this rabbit’s foot posed on the sly
mid-field - that is not death’s hard mammary
flopped open on the grass - no some surgeon
harvested the bone - but left it virgin.
2 September 2021
It is true I saw swifts at Jericho in Oxford on 26 August.