Posts tagged ‘endangered birds’

14/05/2013

Bachman’s Warbler

 

The light of neurones formed of gold.

The light of skies beneath the lakes.

The light of memories dying out.

The light of mourning fireflies.

 

Out there, before the war forgot

To purge its nightmares from our streets,

A weightless shimmering of blood

Had stopped to drip on southern crops.

 

Its song was shackled to its fate:

Its song of falling, song of light.

Its burned with topaz in the swamps:

A voice of sunlight through the night,

 

A drop of blood which stained its loss

On leaves and lives and crosses born.

 

 

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27/04/2013

Egyptian Vulture

 

How many ways to kill our pasts?

On wings which carried deserts north

The pharaoh’s birds would soar with souls.

We clipped those wings and pinned those souls.

 

How many desolations built?

From mountain peaks to Shiva’s shrine:

We emptied every one of birds

And wondered at the silent skies.

 

How many ways to carve our guilt?

Those perfect wings, those lines of flight,

Which glide from life to life beyond.

Those messengers of ancient tombs.

 

Out of the sun there wheeled the birds:

How many ways to praise this world?

 

20/04/2013

Corncrakes (South Uist)

 

The sweetened stench of kelp in lines –

As long as reef and Viking old –

Comes tangled with lamenting seals,

With diver’s wails of freedoms edge.

 

And through that sharpened sense of sky,

Across the machair, orchid wild,

The corncrakes called and answered spring,

And sleepless summoned summer’s nights.

 

These are the worlds of ocean spray,

Of distant deeps and tangled sedge,

Of histories hidden in the sands,

Of islands on the brink of time.

 

Through scented tides they call the moon:

The corncrakes mark the passing years.

 

20/04/2013

Corncrakes (Slovenia)

 

At night the village dropped its blinds,

Its shutters closed, its curtains drawn,

And pillows piled to drown the scrape

And rake and ratchet calls of crakes.

 

The meadows sweet with flower heads,

Alive with honey bees and hay,

Cut once by hand and dried in air:

The birds could find their shelter there.

 

The echo owls call out for hours,

And nightingales let flow their stars.

The village knew their world was right:

They tended, coppiced, nurtured flight.

 

The villages knew the summer nights

Were full of corncrakes, full of life.

 

 

10/04/2013

Aquatic Warbler

 

For generations life rolled on.

The fen mire tended, grasses cut

So late the jack snipe fledged their young.

They’d hear the warblers call the moon.

 

Along with floods and moving herds,

Came armies from the east and west:

The Oder farmers watched them roll.

The sun shone on, the warblers sang.

 

And then the world began to shift –

At first came speed, then choice, then greed:

The opportunities were hewn,

The peat was burned, the fens were drained.

 

The golden warblers in the fields

Were lost amongst the teezel heads.

 

04/04/2013

Hawaiian Goose

 

A lava line around the neck,

Thrust from the seabed: drops of jet.

Their lonely births are fire and rock,

Are isolated slips of blood.

 

Those eyes: the brightest black on Earth –

Whose depths we fill with shallow hopes –

Inhuman, but within each one

A loss so great it is our own.

 

These islands we behold as birds –

Too far away, too bright to know –

Perceived as wondrous specks of light

Within the ocean blank of life.

 

They stare a question from our soul:

Are we alone or are we whole?