offers quarter point, banks left
and is the compass rose of self,
drawn by the sea’s dark magnet
to narrow on its dive. That beak
could nail you to a bloody rood,
eviscerate the dull mind’s scrod,
fall ravenous on an idling flex
from nowheres of insipid sky
and still come back for more.
Here, against the ocean scrim:
white cross on Payne’s grey,
corn-tinged torc of neck,
post-punk graphic head,
those brown bastard wings
angle steel-tipped greed
to cleave the surface water
and feed a boundless want.
Firebolt cruciform retracting in-
to knife, you’ve glid the season
by me, swept aside my morning
for the zero sum of your hunt.
In turn, I sift the cortex
of near-forgotten dread,
to lose you in the thinking
as this sharp beak hits white.
Martin Malone lives in north-east Scotland. He has published 3 poetry collections: The Waiting Hillside (Templar, 2011), Cur (Shoestring, 2015) and The Unreturning (Shoestring 2019). Larksong Static: Selected Poems 2005-2020 was published by Hedgehog Poetry in December 2020. In addition, he has published 4 pamphlets: 17 Landscapes (Bluegate Books), Prodigals (The Black Light Engine Room), Mr. Willett’s Summertime (Poetry Salzburg), Shetland Lyrics (Hedgehog). Poems from these and his other work have been published in a wide variety of magazines & journals. He reviews for Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Wales and Poetry Salzburg Review. An editor at Poetry Salzburg and Honorary Research Fellow in Creative Writing at Aberdeen University, he has a PhD in poetry from Sheffield University. Currently, Martin is a Poetry Ambassador for the Scottish Poetry Library.