Pippa Little – Constancy of Mornings

Pippa Little LEP&W V3 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three December 2022.

Constancy of Mornings, poems by Pippa Little. 

Constancy of Mornings

The discursiveness of rooks
always moves me,
so sure are they
of their arguments,
persuasive barristers –
though I’m invisible to them,
they are my constancy of mornings
in sleek patent noir, a swoop and hop –
being uninteresting to their assemblies
as a faded tin-type
I envy
how the sky feels in their wings
their magnificent dark tirelessness
to the point of mania,
their sure footing in both worlds.

After The Hospital

I walk the old dog in soft evening rain
only so far as she will go now
even in spring, trees in new leaf,
the air’s clean laundry.

Far is the end of the road,
no further, to the cherry blossom
under which we pause,
observe necessary business.

Her map has contracted this last winter
to scents and signs only
yards around our house, the open spaces
where she ran, beyond her now

and mine’s become a shadeless corridor
of cubicles and waiting rooms
where I must re-learn patience,
re-tread lost steps.

Now a blackbird, invisible, blesses us
as if we were her children.


for friends in Budapest

In gardens of early summer rain
your girl is playing her cello
to a family of cats on the low roof

someone beloved is returning
on the hidden, curved path
with lilies and breakfast kifli

the door of your house is wide
shoes steam on the stoop
glistening with spiderweb:

inside, espresso and World Service, us,
a map of Africa bleached by light.
Come, yes, welcome.

© Pippa Little

Pippa Little is a Scots poet who lives in Northumberland in the North East of England. Her third collection Time Begins to Hurt came out from Arc Publishing in the UK in July 2022.She has been a Hawthornden fellow, a fellow of The Royal Literary Fund and worked in University education, mentoring, publishing and literacy. She’s an award-winning poet, reviewer and editor whose work has appeared in print and online across the world, including Staying Human from Bloodaxe 2021, Forward Prize anthologies and in Poetry, Poetry Review, TLS, New Statesman.

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