A sky out of Thomas Hardy: bleak, cloud-broken, swollen with

wind-shiver, grey-gold with touches of crucifixion and apocalypse,

everything a flight, a fugue, so the small voices of these slate juncos

make music a huddle of refugees might make--bedraggled, bent

under tattered loads, feeling the weather change, the air harden,

the taste of things grow harsh and crude on their forced march

towards haggard light, towards some poor haven, this endless trek

against weather, fires blossoming from the sky ceiling, the ferocious

thump of air waves pushing them, staggering ear drums, pure dread

bursting in scatterflash and stuttercrack, these terminal fireworks

at odds with all past knowledge. So the beat goes on, no end to it,

and in this Thomas Hardy sky you'd see, had you eyes for it, words

like numb and wasting inscribed, and sad or dim, drearisome, wan,

and everything tucked in like a heart in its beating chest of bone

so the whole body thrums with it, beaten through and through by it.

By Eamon Grennan