Thought of the Day: Tuesday 25th February


I was watching a robin fly after a finch – the smaller bird

chirping with excitement, the bigger, its breast blazing, silent

in light-winged earnest chase – when, out of nowhere

over the chimneys and the shivering front gardens,

flashes a sparrowhawk headlong a light brown burn

scorching the air from which it simply plucks

like a ripe fruit the stopped robin, whose two or three

cheeps of terminal surprise twinkle in the silence

closing over the empty street when the birds have gone

about their own business, and I began to understand

how a poem can happen: you have your eye on a small

elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth

strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.

Eamon Grennan