Tarkovsky’s Cuckoo by David Chorlton


A question mark has risen
in place of the sun.

Wearing woolen hats against eternity
three men set out to penetrate
the Zone, where a cuckoo breaks
the silence among leaves rusting
at their edges.

A tunnel runs
through the Earth’s mind
where it remembers the time before

when the land was beautiful.
Two notes
repeat. Rain pocks
a puddle glazed with poison rainbows.

Repeat. And a wolf’s call
churns in each man’s stomach
as he staggers deeper
into fog. Back in each
of their own weathered rooms

is a clock on the wall
that opens its doors
to let a bird on a spring
out every hour, with a mechanical

proclamation that
it has survived.

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