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Dunnock Threne by James Peake

The edible world is being whistled into being,

aired feathers and dilation, the wavering

of reinscribed veins. Pale sun and then

the arrival of colour,

saffron waters from the field,

the eye level and utmost green

from which every disappointment

descends. Everything changed

but when? A Roman road

not abandoned so much

as interred by default, drought

let it show through,

trim, optimum. Bent grass shines.

Her nest is spittle, moss,

the petal from a plastic bag.

A millipede curls in her beak

in its armour, calorific fact

and not something apart.


James Peake’s second full-length collection, The Star in the Branches, was published in February 2022. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Spectator, Wild Court, and most recently, Bad Lilies. He lives in London and works in indie podcasting.


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