Martyn Crucefix




Beside the artist’s pool

Small birds brink
the garden hedge
its glossy tall green
no shady barrier

more a plaything
to rise up and over
their gaze wedded
to the pool’s eye

where they execute
one dip-up motion
the pool crying
its lyric of white

and azure—each bird’s
pale breast takes
the reflected blue
of what its thirst

drives it to—
each dip each dive
each muscular shove
leaves a kissing-ring

one fading mark
as bills scoop clear
the flickering badge
of blue is pinned

to each white breast
then wings adjust
up—agilely away—
each bird ascending

a swerve of white
so it must appear
there’s nothing here
actually changing



Martyn Crucefix has translated Rilke’s Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus (both Enitharmon Press) and the Daodejing (Enitharmon, 2016). Most recent original poetry: The Lovely Disciplines (Seren, 2017) and forthcoming from Hercules Editions, Cargo of Limbs (Autumn, 2019). More at

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