‘The Goose Tree’ by Moyra Donaldson

The Goose Tree

 
‘There are likewise here many birds called barnacles,
which nature produces in a wonderful manner, out of
her ordinary course.’
-Topographia Hibernia,
Gerald of Wales

 
There are certain trees
whereon shells grow,
white-coloured,
tending to russet.
 
Each shell contains
a little living creature;
like the first line
of a poem, a thing
 
like a lace of silk
delicately woven,
one end of which
is fastened to the shell,
 
and which at the other
feeds into the belly
of a rude mass,
that in time comes
 
to the shape and form
of a bird. When the bird
is perfectly grown,
the shell begins to gape.
 
First lace, then legs,
then all comes forth
until the goose hangs
only by the beak.
 
A short space after,
at full maturity,
it falls into the sea,
where it gathers feathers.
 
Those that fall
onto the land perish
and become nothing.
A blank page.

The Goose Tree is © Moyra Donaldson, from The Goose Tree (Liberties Press, 2014)


download (2)
Moyra Donaldson
The Goose Tree
Liberties Press 2014
 
54 pages.Cover design by Karen Vaughan

download (3)Moyra Donaldson was born and brought up in Co Down and has been described as one of the country’s most distinctive and accomplished writers. She has published four previous collections, Snakeskin Stilettos (1998), Beneath The Ice (2001),The Horse’s Nest (2006) and Miracle Fruit (2010). Her poetry has won a number of awards, including the Allingham Award, the National Women’s Poetry Competition and the Cuirt New Writing Award. She has received four awards from the Arts Council NI, most recently, the Artist Career Enhancement Award.
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(from Liberties Press)

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