Thursday Poem


Cows always take the easiest path
Dead level to suit their ambling shuffle
Which was why the builders of the first
American roads took the ancient buffalo routes.
Foxes are different though, they blaze
A vertical trail over ditches,
Scatter decoys in your wake to spoil the chase.

Badgers are erratic, will disperse wodges of earth
Any old how and leave no directive
To chart the route to their winter burrow.
Above though, the November flocks impress
Carve a V and tell you exactly where they are headed.

So why should I still look out for omens
When I can track to a T the path my brother
Took across these fields before he left us,
And worry about what signposts I can turn to
To chart my progress when I’ve exhausted
All the pathways of earth and sky.

by Eugene O’Connell

from One Clear Call; Bradshaw Books, Cork, 2003