Week 340: Windy Gap, by David Campbell

The Australian poet David Campbell (1915-1979) had a fine lyric touch and a great zest for life, both exemplified in this celebratory piece, so imbued with the music of what happens.

Windy Gap

As I was going through Windy Gap
A hawk and a cloud hung over the map.

The land lay bare and the wind blew loud
And the hawk cried out from the heart of the cloud,

‘Before I fold my wings in sleep
I’ll pick the bones of your travelling sheep,

For the leaves blow black and the wintry sun
Shows the tree’s white skeleton’.

A magpie sat on the tree’s high top
Singing a song on Windy Gap

That streamed far down to the plain below
Like a shaft of light from a high window.

From the bending tree he sang aloud,
And the sun shone out of the heart of the cloud

And it seemed to me as we travelled through
That my sheep were the notes that trumpet blew,

And so I sing this song of praise
For travelling sheep and blowing days.

David Campbell