Blog Archives

Leave off the Light

A little poem as we note the start of spring here.

The bats indeed did come out that night and now, a week later, there are lizards and frogs about, as well as cranes coming back north and storks reclaiming their nests.

 

Leave Off the Light

Leave off the lights

At least until the light leaves;

Let us feel it while it lasts,

Catch sight of birds flying to roosts, crying

As it dies, and perhaps bats will wheel past.

Let night descend inside, too, before

Filling our night with brightness,

Let the life outside touch our lives a little,

For at last there is light as twilight arrives.

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First Birdsong

This is a little embarrassing to post.

As a wildlife enthusiast, I should not admit to not taking my kids out into the wild often enough that my son has heard his first birdsong only after he’s been walking for three months…

But life is hectic with a one-year-old and a five-year-old doing dance and swimming lessons in winter, and even though Pamplona is a small city with wildlife all around (including BEAVERS in the river not 200 yards from my house as the crow flies) it’s damn hard to get out of the brick and concrete on a daily basis.

We do go to village on the weekend, where there’s plenty of birdlife (kites and bee-eaters etc…) , but the evening birdsong is not something I’ve experienced with the kids recently.

 

First Birdsong

 

I consider myself privileged

To see hills at a distance from

My window over the garden,

Graced by more than mere sparrows;

 

But my son has just heard birdsong

Today, for the first time, I had time to

Take him to city’s edge and embrace the

Twilit twittering of tits and thrushes

Scolding one another in the gloaming,

And experience, absent the ubiquitous din,

A blackbird’s sonorous cry to spring,

And say, “listen, hear the birdies sing.”

 

 

Deadlines

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Deadlines have been on my mind as my release date approaches for Leaving the Pack.

Most of them are dates made in my own mind, but it’s hard to keep writing inside when there’s so much going on elsewhere.

 

 

Deadline

 

What is a deadline? And how can one stand

Against the rush of a riffling stream past

Skinny legs of a standing heron over rounded stones,

Against the draw of deep water held behind a weir,

 

Against the rippling wind whipping through ripening barley,

And expanse of blue sky extending above a verdant plain,

Against the weight of sunlight upon a shoulder,

The swell of one’s chest at the sight of a field full

Of poppies and vetch, fetching delight at feeling,

Beating steady bass against the body, against the

Somniferous drone of bees through the blooms,

For whom the afternoon includes no siesta, or

Press of dancers in a crowded room, screaming

Swirling of swallows, flinging slight bodies against

Flies upon the wing, and insistent singing thrush

Trilling an announcement at all this end of daylight,

Making last flight and call to unseen nest?

How can anything resist the soft accumulation of

Seed cotton drifting down from dangling catkins?

 

The only dead line is that which marks the death of days,

Staying under sunlight as long as last its rays

Our only object, for the sun will set soon enough,

And the darkness will wash over all that was lit before it.