Nightjar (1st prize: 2014 Competition)

‘Du hast einen Vogel.’

German. Literally: ‘You have a bird.’

Figuratively: ‘You’re mad.’


What thing entered just now, its dive-knife head

quite sailing through the rucked sail of my ear? Jeer,

kettle. Ignite, would you, hob. Jingle or clack, spice


My mouth is suddenly all moth – mind rigged and jigged,

that this torn urge, this tonnage, this project find me,

with a jink not a knock, jolt not a surge, siege or


and then disappear again in a curtain-jog,

returning – or rather turning – to its nest. Little



charting junctures, you knot-chord of discord

earthing jaggedness, you whiskered nixer and jinx

thrawing Juniper Pug and Gem, I have you.

At last I have you.