You loom at Madzharovo
then at Bosilovo
roost at Kalanjevo.
cowl of the air
crossing these skies,
come, we are prone
and torn, numbed,
expecting your news.
Cormorants at Dojran Lake
The fisher Christs are drying their wings
a great white pelican gawps
and gives a wide September yawn
a prudent heron heeds, and waits.
The Tetovo Buzzards
The Tetovo buzzards loop high and swoop low,
they circle the plains across Tetovo,
with the Vardar they bend, drift the ravines,
wider and deeper, hunting in teams;
the valleys are empty, the villages small,
the fields unfenced and the minarets tall;
did I hear one give a shriek-like ‘Shqip’
when crossing the canyon next to Chiflik?
Swinging from Saraj to Kumanovo
they reckon the wind, climb as they go.
Pelicans at Prespa Lake
Some pelicans festoon the bay
like summer boats at Howth or Bray
here to forage, to fish
and fly back across the spit
like local geese as day grows late
in Prespa or at Donabate
who swoop on Sutton, or on Rush,
then tail it to Achilleios.
Benjamin Keatinge is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. His poetry has appeared in Orbis, Eborakon, The Galway Review, Agenda and Flare and is forthcoming in Writing Home: The ‘New Irish’ Poets (Dedalus Press, 2019). He is editor of Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy (Cork University Press, 2019).