The Departure of Nightjars
Time plagues us all;
the finity of hours once counted out
in lots - impatient, nightjars quit the earth
to greet the toil of dusk
in churr vibrations of twilight alarms,
sing tuneless songs to old bones.
We work and sleep and remember,
we regret: these are the actions of time,
as unsubtle as a nightjar, but
they are milking moonshine
while it lasts, brightened eyes
chasing littler wings, chasing light.
They are breaking up the stones
of each day passed, unforgotten,
where yet another day is always breaking
endlessly against the manufacturing of dreams.
Only dawn can hasten
the departure of a nightjar from the dark, and
having been dispelled, moth-bloated,
they are recalled by trees
to become secrets again of their bark,
to rest, to reimagine, to stop the clock.
Image is from wikimedia commons: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bird_illustration_from_Svenska_Fåglar_(Swedish_Birds)_by_the_von_Wright_brothers_from_rawpixel%27s_original_edition_of_the_publication_00020.jpg
Nightjar song: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UOAGUfBFcvM
Also this image on Twitter of them in flight at night: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_Nightjar_from_the_Crossley_ID_Guide_Britain_and_Ireland.jpg