The Bird Taggers

The Bird Taggers

 

Down by the ley at dusk,

people are working softly.

In the reeds, they have strung a net

from poles, several pluck small birds

from the netting. They carry white bags

into which they place the birds in pairs

for company. These people work swiftly,

talk in low voices. The reed banks hum

with the sound of settling birds.

 

One man comes to explain, how they ring the legs,

track the birds’ flight, to protect feeding grounds,

nest sites. He shows us a young swallow.

It lies meek in his hand, relaxed as a sleeping mouse.

His voice is sure, this is heart work, for the future.

Several white bags hang silently from his belt.

He says not to worry, they have nest boxes.

Once in the dark boxes they will be calm

and in the morning, released.

Soon the birds will fly to Spain, to Africa.

 

from Taking Flight Rose Cook

 

On Looking At The Beginning Of A Lifetime

On Looking At The Beginning Of A Lifetime

 

All night, a growing sound

which opens the door

to allow a body through.

 

The day you were born

a mist rose from the river.

Seven swans flew over the bridge

their wings sounding damp air.

 

How can I write for you?

My heart is rapt, listening

to your soft breath.

We are still coming to ground.

 

 

poem and photo Rose Cook

(poem from Taking Flight by Rose Cook, pub Oversteps Books 2009)

Post a Poem a Day for 5 days: Love and the Flight of Birds

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For the next day of the Post a Poem a Day for 5 days Challenge here is ‘Love and the Flight of Birds’ which is in my poetry collection Taking Flight (Oversteps Books, 2009) and I nominate Shawna Lemay to post one of her poems every day for 5 days and tag someone new each day.

 

Love and The Flight of Birds


Just lately I find myself
falling in love
with birds.

Is it their different flight,
their glide, slow soar,
the double bounce and hurry-up
over the tree,
their fragile legs,
enviable wings –
is it about longing?
But then, love is always about longing.

When they visit,
perch first in one tree or another,
I recognise them from their shapes
as lovers do, feel gratitude
that they come to me.

I break bread, tip seed
for these creatures of shattered air,
glossed instinct,
bones light as leaves,
wonders to gaze on,
fall
then fly again.

 

 

poem and photo Rose Cook