Posts tagged ‘birds’

21/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Migration)

 

She flew alongside Sahel birds,

Migrating from their summer sedge.

She saw her ocean waves at work,

As autumn surges shaped the coast.

 

She saw the spread of lights at night,

And scars where scrubland disappeared.

The Sahel cuckoos held their calls.

They saw the marshlands drained and dried.

 

And further south the deserts spread

With sandstorms burning ever on.

She whirled in dust as dry as death.

Some birds pressed on while others fell.

 

The deserts scarified their tongues,

They looked to her to flow with song.

07/05/2012

Mirrors of the Labyrinth

 

They’re sacrificed to autumn flights.

Enslaved by time or caught in light,

They’re made to turn ten thousand times:

Reflections of the world below.

 

The distant skylarks trapped by song,

In endless spirals through the blue,

Must sing and sing and not be done.

Their songs mean nothing to the sun.

 

The tack and flick of wheatear’s white

Along the crumbling Yarnbury Dam,

Are calls of spirits bound in lead,

Compelled to fight their pointless fights.

 

And way off by the Grinding House,

A buzzard wheels above the waste.

08/01/2012

Treecreeper

 

They live another planet’s life,

Their world a maze of creviced wood ,

And flakes of bark and spider’s webs.

They seek the scent of insect’s paths.

 

And up they spiral, ever up –

Their probing, prizing spikes of beaks

Are thrust into the rotten reek –

They never reach the canopy.

 

Then out across the autumn woods

Where fungal spores spread sickly mats,

They claim their trees with needle trills

Like crystal wrens at misting dawn.

 

In otherness they live their lives,

As alien spirits of the oaks.

 

08/01/2012

Ring Ouzel

 

A lunar crescent, skyward horned.

A tail which traces scree and ling.

A plaintive tone, a mournful tune.

A solitary black and bib.

 

Alone in rocks above the scars,

Where streams from bogs first scratch their beds

With steady tick like lowland merle,

A lost and wayward song of moors.

 

The moon is pitched in afterglow

And scattered with the trace of stars.

The melancholy call of space

A flick of night pitched wing and gone.

 

And left as one with what was once,

The sadness of a memory’s song.

02/01/2012

Tawny Owl

 

You look into the forest’s depths,

The twists of branches, knots of fear,

Reflected panic of the dusk,

And through the tangle: night black eyes,

 

Or ember eyes, or mirror moons,

Or timeless worlds which pluck in dark

The twitching, writhing remnant lives,

Before the silent wings fold back.

 

And trees cloak round to hide the deaths,

To save the torment of the rest.

The forest floor forgets what’s passed,

And carries on with nothing lost.

 

Pressed tight against the oak tree’s trunk,

A night of killing hides in day.

02/01/2012

Yellow Wagtail

 

The gentle rains have summoned gold

From limestone walls as light as leaf.

The summer citrine floating gems

Are raised to shine on sundewed peat.

 

Their calls as fine as spider’s silk

Are threaded through the spikes of sedge,

And bright as mirrors to the sun

Chase heaven in a skyward vault.

 

As fragile as the cotton grass:

Arrive in April, dance in May,

Come autumn join the swallows south

And leave the hills to still and grey.

 

The yellow wagtail’s second life:

Is gleaming in the Sahel’s sands.

02/01/2012

Grey Wagtail

 

The river racer, foam of sulphur,

Is dart and shivered mercury.

A scattered feather, pitched in peat,

Which whisks the water’s surface clean.

 

A never still, a bobbing weave,

A flight and dance, a flip of tail,

Its tick tricks time, alarmed and shrill,

Is chasing after waterfalls.

 

Then up and gone on undulations:

A shallow trace of wings and air;

A shadow left on deeper reaches;

A moment’s fire of fight and life.

 

And left, a woodland’s damp is hanging,

Awaiting echoes from the streams.

 

(first published in the collection “From the Shore”, 2011 – Shore Poets)