Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘A March Nest’: a poem by Gregory Leadbetter


    A March Nest


A tilt of the light and I wake with a twig in my mouth,
building between the shoots and reeds I’d laid
in the quick of instinct, at work between the light.
Last night I met my mate, who laid her shape
to mine and gave my breath a tide as full
as any moon can hold, which rises as I build.

I met her as the space I braid to bear
the shape I dreamed, who shared my body’s warmth
and weave: moss from ruins worked from stone:
the jade of lichen flourished from a fallen wand:
leaves that gave the dead their shade before
they fell, sown as gifts from the old year:
the yarn of grasses wound with fur and hair
bright with the animal they have shed: feathers
lighter than infant breath, bound with the thread
of a cobweb teased from a pool of thorns: daub
drawn from a spawning pond, wattled with the silk
of a sow-thistle, a seed-head blown by the wind:
the down of lamb’s ear carded by bees: the soft
gold of morning cast in a lost ring.

The bulb of the sun swells in the earth I work
above, turning the air to smooth the cup
for the clutch that makes a chorus in my blood
like dawn. Calls pair across the waking
wood and ply between my own, for life
to come: the sung to, like the singer, unseen.