Begin by setting the instructions aside.
Instead tune the mind to flight.
Attach the huge, clunking wings (treat like hangar doors)
– do this by lantern light; now heave them wide.
Next, place the heart inside – adjust to beating;
You may witness a sudden upwards surge
as the chest swells – this will be fleeting –
resist the urge to release;
now, embed the eyes (still asleep – this matters)
and fasten the beak; carry the slumbering bird
to someplace steep, repeating the word wake,
and – this is key – just as the heart (yours) begins to break
and the slow whales blow –
About this poem
This poem won the main prize in the Wigtown Poetry Competition 2015.