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Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle is the author of two poetry books, most recently This White Nest (Quattro Books, 2019) as well as Seeking Shade, a short story collection (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2020) and Tower, a Rapunzel-inspired novella (Fish Gotta Swim Editions, 2018). She is a Canadian author, living in Ottawa, whose writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Best Canadian Poetry 2020, Blackbird, Dreich, Prairie Fire, Minola Review and The Wild Word, among others. Visit for more, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @francesboyle19.



That freefall of watching, dizzy,
as flocks bend in waves like molecules,
murmuration as veil, as tilted bowl,
a wing formed of wings and bodies,
funneling sky into blue-black awe.

A blossom, a blooming starburst
pulse, peeling back wonderment
to drawn-out joy in the folding
and unfolding, aerobatic origami.
The cries and the percussion

of pummeled air, smoothed into edges
and moments, the fall the rise a singing
synchronicity. In their wheeling
a whirled word of beauty, of praise.
Sheer longing – to swirl like smoke

and fly—fulfilled in the witnessing.
A tumbling, a rolling boil of birds,
their language shrill and ethereal,
angel cries across the sky, echoing
inside my chest, beating my heart alive.

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