White-tailed Eagles


Iolair Mhara

Two eagles lock talons in mid-flight
and tumble together towards the water

    as if they’ll never stop falling,

but they disentangle just in time
and ascend to the top

    of a scraggy Scots pine.

Still as Ross Island
they roost side by side,

    till one of them lifts,

glides over Lough Leane
then makes a thunder-bolt dive

    before levelling to snatch a salmon.

Will they settle,
build an unruly nest,

    fledge chicks that will spread

from here to Loch Iolar, Binn an Iolair,
Iolard Mór and Iolard Beag?

Jane Clarke is the author of three poetry collections. Her most recent, A Change in the Air, was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the T.S. Eliot Prize. She is also the author of two poetry pamphlets, All the Way Home and Coracle.
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