Feathers of leaf drop, plain and inconspicuous:
you won’t see her until she darts, stone-skipping steps,
across the path and on, on
into the grass. Shape distinct now against the green,
her partner still outshines her in his black evening jacket,
tangerine beak lifted in lively chortle-song.
Often, his bold appearance
is what gives her away – rarely are they far apart;
a tiff or two won’t separate them for long.
While he entertains the gardeners, watchers, afternoon ramblers
with his dashing looks,
she hurries about, a curious rain of leaves and twigs
misting the inches above her head.
Her search for morsels is never-ending.
Unafraid is she of getting close
if it means a beakful of worms might be claimed.
Fuel for creating her latest architectural project,
this year’s nest. You may find it one day,
long after its time.
How many broods were raised in it, you might wonder.
How many indeed?
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, sport-style fundraisers etc) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.
If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!