Observers by Robert Heard

Poem title: Observers Poet name: Robert Heard Poem Begins: The College exists, has a name, and is useful: Its augurs are in a constant state of insult. Especially when they’re called upon, and wake Unsure whether they’re facing north or south, But are sure all the signs up to now detected, Have run their race by word of mouth. When assemblies and lotteries multiply, They re-name the College; where prophecy Was seen, where once they heeded entrails, And winds, and stars, that warrant miseries to come, Or by the canny device of signs expected, Now they say what they like when all else fails. So that observers everywhere may gather, listless, On a hill at midnight, clear and windless, Summoned outside the borders of the temple, To a place where they have no words; To a ground untrampled by measured paces, Under a sky where choices are simple; Who have never seen things like themselves before: For whom a flight of birds is a flight of birds. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Robert Heard Robert Heard has lived all his life in Toronto, except for short periods near Timmins. He attended university here, and has retired from his career in the city’s library system. Robert Heard has written poems over the last fifty years.