bird watching [meditations #4]

I am watching the birds from my bedroom window,
trying to learn the names of the ones that keep
landing in the garden. There is a symphony of noise,
a nest under the roof, just above the window.

They sing in the morning, and in the evening sun,
I sit and listen, their joy cheering me too.
I learn their names – house sparrows, distinctive
with their grey and brown and black markings.

They begin to feel like family and I glare at
the crow who has begun to land on the fence,
edging closer, his eye on the nest, and the ginger
cat too who appears on my window ledge.

There’s the blackbirds too, and the wrens, who
appear after the rain searching in the wet grass
for food and who pilfer twigs from the flower beds
and carry them away, business as usual while we slow.

I spot the starlings too, their feathers sparkling
in the sunlight, and later I see them swoop and rise
again, a mighty formation glittering against the pale
blue skies, appearing day after day like clockwork.

I see a goldfinch, with red on it’s face, yellow
on it’s tail, perching on a washing line,
and when it’s gone I wonder if I imagined it
as I don’t see it again just remember the flash of gold.

There’s the gulls and the crows, the magpies, one for sorrow,
two for joy, who seem to skid about the roof, as if they
can’t find their balance, like young lambs learning
to walk. They sit watch, on roof tops, overseers of the world.

The house sparrows swoop past my window, and dive
into their nest and I am comforted by the sound
of their chirping through the open window, reminding
me that life carries on even when everything has stopped.

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