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:
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.)