Late in the Afternoon

Late in the afternoon,
sitting in a shady garden spot,
watching the bird feeders,
it seemed like Heathrow
with all the swooping and gliding
in for landings on the perches.

The little ones,
flittered and swiftly darted
from and to the small protective tree,
before making off to a farther bush
carrying their dinners of
sunflower hearts
to nibble away in peace.

I counted eight different
kinds of tits and finches,
missing the robins, blackbirds,
corvids, woodpeckers, collard doves,
and wood pigeons
who also frequent the feeders
or scrounge the ground beneath.

What struck me most
in the stillness and silence
of the late afternoon
was being able to hear
the beating of their tiny wings,
single birds fluttering,
the soft whoshing and wha-wha,
not so different except in
volume to that of swans
flying overhead or geese.

In the distance,
swooping almost beyond
the range of seeing,
the swifts chittered
swished through the sky,
and a lone buzzard rode
the thermals in lazy arcs
as the evening began
slowly gliding to steal
the late afternoon’s warmth
and herald the ending of another day.

A Day too Still

Walking on a day too still,
the world all silent waiting,
wondering what portends,
querying the hush,
quiet enough to hear
Poplar’s leaves
drifting
groundward,
though in the distance
combines rake the fields bare.

Going farther
at the stone bridge can be seen
through Stream’s running waters
long tendrilled trailing grasses,
bright Stream Nymphs’ hair.
and the gathering of bubbles
over mini rapids congregating
air’s infusion linking
elements and Elementals.

On down the path
where Stream babbles singing water’s song
to mudded banks eroded
in days well gone and long forgotten,
hear Heron call when taking flight,
strain to see Woodpecker least spotted
rhythmically tapping muffled on a living tree,
see Old Yaffle airborne low,
and Moorhen crossing in front ignoring danger
eager to enter Stream’s bidding,
‘come join my swirling dance’.

Turning round where the path ends
at a mown and empty field,
no gleaning birds to see
the harvest truly past there,
back now observing elderberries
hanging heavy where once
flowers held heads high,
spider woven portcullises
drawn down before the blackberries
with stinging nettle sentinels
only the brave or foolish,
insect or walker,
reach for the fruit.

Then came out the sun
clearing clouds overcasting,
creating a less white sky,
the temperature rising muggy,
but the silence remained
etched into the space
marking fast the day.