the voice, over the green, beyond
the smell of a stale river,
a clear flute of the evening
come early

enter the leafy temple:
the alders will give way,
the aspens rejoice,
the birches, smile and say —
listen to lindens lisp
see how the osiers preen up
to be seen by you —

the nightingale, a small,
inconspicuous preacher, blinks
and delivers a welcome worthy
of cathedrals.
the warbler’s call bounces
on the water-strider-split surface,
hits the underside of hops,
and peters out.

tunnelling among the twigs,
larger than life, he sings
now a glory such that the sun fades
for a moment
all is still, then, as is comely
blackbird resumes his sermon.


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