Red-throated Wryneck

This is a bit over-the-top. But for the sake of getting back into writing, I think a bit of exaggeration is alright. The Red-throated Wryneck is a stunning little bird, shy and rarely seen.

Inbetween it’s visits, we do have plenty of others to watch for. The Paradise Fly Catchers may return soon, I think. And we’ve actually been wonderfully treated with the return of the remarkable African Green Pigeons this week, gorging themselves heavy on the ripe orange berries next door.

Red-throated Wryneck

A year I’ve awaited your return
O russet love, how shall I lure
– a wonder, every heart beat yearns –
you back? Come south, I can’t endure!

Twice my eyes your life have seen.
Twice your auburn breast admired,
loved your specks with stripe between,
your dancing, wherever you desired.

Verdant verdure, you marked the scene
burnt in my heart. I adjure,
come back and strike once more this green
with dark demure rustling pure.

Bring your drab and secret gown
of leaves’ investiture, your crown.

Image credit: Thomas Varto Nielsen https://www.africanbirdclub.org/afbid/search/birddetails/species/1056/20887

On hearing the swallows’ song

A field of wheeling notes
and sounds,
black speckles darting
gainst a cloud
lit golden grey,
night’s morning shroud,
which scoops and sends
their chorus down:

The ripples fall,
from tinkling flight
of singing swarm
at tallest height,
as, all devout,
their windsung rites
escape the heavens,
and alight

on me

and bright my lowly face
by way of sky’s excited rain –
a sweet arpeggiated skein
which calls me forth to fly and play.

Now caught,
adorned with awe, absorbed,
I strain enamoured eyes
and more;
if only one
would deign to fall
and pluck my sole
away from all

that holds me
far below that throng
of swallows
scraping anvil strong,
performing
all the evening long –
mere motes
composing purest song.