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Apposition by Ewan Mackinnon


A few weeks ago, driving across a bridge, down by the water’s edge, 
I saw birds in large groups rallied against the rain 

as if they had been told to stand there, segregated 

like lines at the airport. A screech of gulls, a muster of crows 

and tucked behind a dune, a contradiction 

of sandpipers. I scrambled down the bank, disturbing a wisp 

of snipe which scuttled off towards the ocean past the  

cormorants drying their wings on the rocks. Larks twittered  

in exaltation and, when I turned, all the birds were looking at me. 

A large goose waddled up and spoke: ‘What’s the collective noun 

for humans then?’ A pause, then they all started laughing, flapping, 

filling the sky. I sat down on the grass. A virus,’ I said

and the wind set off to spread the word.


---


Ewan is the Artistic Director of DHK. A charity that puts artists, clowns, and musicians in children’s hospital wards. He lives in Denmark, which is much smaller and flatter than everyone thinks. For the last two years he has been mentored by Caroline Bird, which has been a stunning ride down the rabbit hole. His poems have just been accepted for Under The Radar and Prole.

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