#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 6 – Starlings

Morning. The sound of dustbin collections

and eager motorbikes.

Occasionally the fire alarm test

that startles me into hiding.

Parents taking their kids to school:

answering questions, making jokes, scolding.

But underneath it all, the unmistakable song comes.

A joyous layer punctuating the urban air with spirited notes.

Clustered, drawn out, mechanical, fluid.

Hard to describe,

yet easy to know

despite the borrowed snippets.

When I go to look, only the bricks of the flats opposite

greet me, occasionally with a gull stomping along

the roof tiles.

Even stretching my head out the window,

the vocal murmuration is too far away to spot.

A rooftop or two, as always.

The flocks around here are large, though.

On evening walks, where no towers block the view,

I catch a few minutes of their regular performance:

synchronised sky-swimming,

organised by a chaos of glossy, speckled plumage and direct beaks.

And my day is richer for it.

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!

(You can also become a member of the RSPB and support them month to month. Members receive Nature’s Home magazine and seasonal guides for what to look out for when out and about. Details are on their website.)

Poetry

The smallest touch

The air rushes past and I can see

the silhouette I’ve left in the gust.

Arms spread, in flight (if it were possible I could muster it)

reaching for the ripples that play about my fingers

as if I might grasp them and pull them in close

to feel their warmth and smell the journey they’ve taken

to get here.

After, I wonder

if they have met me before and that is why

the wind comforts me so.

Poetry

Homecoming

The field is green. So green that it blinds me,

taking over my senses with its scent.

Grass, wildflowers, heather. Pine

off in the distance. And you.

All earth and petals, brambles and silky leaves.

You run your fingers through the long fluffy tails

reaching up to your hips, a smile lingering

at the corners of your mouth.

Welcome home, you say,

and I am welcomed by a cloud of

meadow browns and common blues.

Poetry

Seedlings

And why the tapping of bamboo

against stone,

to scare away the birds

as the water starts to fill?

Spilling over the sides into the sand beyond,

clotting it into mounds that crumble

as soon as they dry.

The seeds will still grow even

if they’re scattered by ruffled feathers

making a mess of the business of eating

in a public place. They may

become willowy and wild,

the berserker runs thoroughly through

their system. Their comfort. Their home.

 

Poetry

Until the die read five or eight

I feel the monsoon sweating down my back,

see the darting tongues of vibrant purple blossoms

and the wrapping vines of sun-kissed waxy blooms.

 

I race the crocodiles down the stream,

run with the wild beasts who stampedeĀ over

burial grounds where their ancestors patiently wait.

 

I see the figurines move along their twisted paths

eyeing the telling jewel as their prize,

but the hunter guards it with savage delight.

 

A roll of the die is all it will take to freeze

the years of waiting to the far reaches of mind,

but will it read a five or an eight?

Poetry

Daisy chain

Our link between worlds –

You, standing on a plinth of long grass,

looking across the clouds

to watch them take breath. Wild

flowers root at your feet.

Me, voice on the wind

ready to wake your ears

from the ballad infecting

your past. Fleeting,

barely a strand of thought

connects us, gone the instant it arrives.