Tag Archives: birds

Rare Bird

Rare Bird

Some of them grew legs, long and thin,
stilts to walk the marshes,
the ornithologist smiled to acknowledge,
hid in his den of leaves, branches,
to watch water birds through binoculars,
nourished by coffee, sandwiches,
content to be far from city crowds, traffic jammed motorways,
felt he had found the best way to spend unmarked days.

Everyone likes birds, he thought,
but he was one of the few who liked to study them.
A flight of geese, honking high in the air,
he loved to watch until once more
the sky was silent.

The ornithologist, home from the marshes,
looked through his bird books
to find the name of a rare one
his eyes had brightened to see,
between blinks, piping in water, through reeds,
and then it was gone.

Advertisements

Pictures In A Glass

Pictures In A Glass

Soon the throb of summer’s engine
the high ascending sun will waken.
There’s only now, the swallows say,
while sparrows mourn what winter’s taken.

No close the door, draw the curtain,
go to the shore for pleasure certain.
Follow the lines drawn by the tides,
listen to what the wind has shaken,

Green scaled tail of a dormant dragon
is a hedge coiled round a garden.
We’re sorry now, the seagulls cry.
Will the captives be given pardon?

When you were a lad and you had a lass,
you never saw such long, long grass,
and it seemed that summer would never pass,
now pictures survive in a glass.

 

Kakapo

Kakapo

I am kakapo,
humans named me so,
up wood plants I go,
on giant rocks they grow.
I am a parrot.
Though wings I have got,
to fly I cannot.
My big claws I stamp,
eat leaves wet and damp,
to trees I climb I clamp.
Good at climbing trees,
which is fortunate,
for I live in a forest,
to have a pause in prose.
Sure as hives have bees,
the forest bends its knees.
Huge trees older than I
thrust up to the sky.
Do much the same each day,
green grub I eat and play.
Keep my claws in joint,
find a nice view point.
The parrot I prefer
to any bird out there,
for such I am one,
like a leaf here and gone.
Do not know I die,
immortal then seem I.
Of time not aware,
leave that to human care.
I boom to my mate,
my intentions state.
Forest I walk and climb
in my own green time.
Other birds can fly,
watch them flapping by.
No brain to envy,
like water I flow free.
Wild the wind will blow,
acceptance peace I know.
I am kakapo.

Sad About The Starling

Sad About The Starling

I buried a bird in the garden,
dug its grave with a spade.
Under the bush, I found a snail shell,
to mark where it was laid.
Silence told me how the starling died,
a squabble on the roof.
Suspect its murderer was a magpie,
though I do not have the proof.
Sad about the starling,
to miss the rest of spring,
to not join the summer chorus,
when birds of many kinds will sing.

What kind of skill is that, to act, I thought,
as I put the spade back in the shed.
To be a person you are not on stage or screen,
to be an actor, what does it mean?
A lump of jelly, activated by words on a page,
moulded by a director’s dictation,
to perform as a person not real, but a fiction.
Is that who they are, what an actor is?
Of death all has been said.
Sat in my kitchen,
I thought of the soil and the starling dead.

 

Magpie

Magpie

Magpie, thief of diamonds, stealer of sapphires,
miser of pearl necklaces,
scavenger of rubies, gold rings,
predator of bright stones,
which is all that jewels are to you,
in your cold crow caw,
the crook in you sings.
Never would they suspect a criminal so small,
and one with wings.
You weave your nest round your costly bed,
haunt the dreams of the ghostly dead.
Windows are left open in summer,
best time for you, bird burglar.
Outside the opera house on the opening night
or a film premiere at the cinema,
you perch yourself on a lamp post or stony shelf,
eye the jewels worn by the women,
as they enter the door,
note the path of the cars that drive them home,
find out where they live, flap down from the night sky,
perch on a fence or the branch of a tree,
outside their grand town house or country mansion.
When the bedroom is empty,
fly in through the open window,
swift, silent, and with your beak and claws,
you steal from the jewel box, the dressing table display,
even learned to push open drawers,
not locked with a key.
Then you flap to your nest with your shiny stones,
which is all that jewels are to you.
The theft discovered, the police inspector is baffled.
Must be the work of a thief of great skill and experience,
he concludes in his report, for he used no ladder,
never suspecting a bird. He looked for fingerprints not feathers.
Stealer of shiny stones, if I looked in your nest,
if I found anything other than twigs, feather fluff,
it would be naught but bright bottle tops, rusted nails,
twists of silver paper, for whenever was reality like the myth?
Truth on the table, rarely like a fable.
Yesterday morning, I tried to take your photograph,
perched as you were on my back garden fence,
but by the time I got my camera, you had flapped away.
For a moment, you looked to me, ghostly,
like an old act from a music hall, long shut down.
From my seat, I called:
“Entertain us, Tommy, with your hat and cane.
Tell us something funny.
Sing that song we will want to hear again.”
Magpie, thief of diamonds,
though truth is on the table,
still you can flap your wings
in the enchantment of a fable.

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

To paint with restraint,
not to be artificial, falsely quaint,
but to draw the line divine, like an angel,
with care and patience, fine as a saint,
such was his wish,
be his subject beast, bird or fish.
On a bare canvas, fresh colours, he splashed,
the result to look perfect,
not haphazardly dashed.
Green Woodpecker, his new work he named,
revealed his love of nature untamed,
for which he was famed.
Green woodpecker, what a thing to do, he mused,
to clamp yourself to a tree,
to hammer with your beak at its bark,
to disturb insects to eat,
to such a bird,  the equivalent of meat,
and to stamp around the forest floor,
to disturb the business of an ant hill,
to feed on more than one ant.
No, he would rather be a sparrow or a lark.
Green woodpecker, what a thing to be,
yet glorious to see,
inspired his new painting, spied it on his walk,
its concentration full on an ant, half way up a tree.