what bird is that?

This morning, very early, before it was properly light, a bird called three times outside my window. What bird? I do not know; and yet I think I know all the birds that come around here, and their cries and songs. I'd been very late to bed, must have only been asleep for a couple of hours and I didn't wake properly. It wasn't a dream but in my half-dreaming state I seemed to be on the green-black slope of some far moorland, with the grey sea in the distance; or perhaps on the nether side of Ruapehu, looking out over the Rangipo plains towards the Kaimanawa; or ... I don't know. Then, just now, I was over at The Imaginary Museum reading Jack's latest post on the metamorphoses of the Metamorphoses and saw the cover of Ted Hughes' book Crow. The augurous bird whistling out my window might not have been a crow but its cry did bring to mind lines from that book that I memorized years ago: Dawn's Rose / Is melting an old frost moon. // Agony under agony, the quiet of dust, /And a crow talking to stony skylines ...

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