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MOTIF by Graham Burchell
Three notes I allowed
aloud to sum the August
beachiness of

herring gull
railway pigeon
otherwise birdless

fishless conjoin -
rust cliff and water world
beneath reflected sky;

that order/disorder/chaos
of iron colony salinity
in all its erosive pungency.

Which instrument to choose
bowed blown plucked
or shell-smash hammered?

One two or three?
which pitch above or below
the shoreline of middle C¿

What time-line to let it linger/
How hushed or loud?

Deep deep dotted quaver
Bflat bassooned like a train
a cliff reverb

a call beneath the bay in mezzo forte
average I believe
for the time of year.

Higher - filled with summer hope
a dotted crotchet F
to fur the shallows

prick the beach dog ears
ring calcite crusted pipe
and sandstone blunts submerged.

Then higher still to haunt:
An A flat dotted minim lashed
to dotted crotchet reaching

reaching under cloud-stretch
to fill kid’s shadowed sand holes
and sad hearts wanting.
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