Migrations by Eleonore Schönmaier

The police squint 

into the glare on the water looking
for small boats.  On a clear day
the lightkeeper sees all the way  

to Algeria.  Over his sofa
hangs a tapestry woven
by his grandmother from red  

human hair.  Only the birds
travel without papers.
Though often now  

their tiny legs
when they perch
on the lighthouse railings 

 are colour banded. 


Copyright © Eleonore Schönmaier. Originally published in Wavelengths of Your Song (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013). 


Eleonore Schönmaier‘s most recent books are Dust Blown Side of the Journey (2017) and Wavelengths of Your Song (2013) both from McGill-Queen’s University Press. Her poetry has been set to music by Canadian, Dutch, Scottish, American and Greek composers. Her poetry has also been performed in concert by The New European Ensemble. She has won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, the Earle Birney Prize, and has been twice shortlisted for the Bridport prize (UK). Her poetry has been published in The Best Canadian Poetry, and has also been translated into Dutch and German.


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