I wrote a poem once, aged sixteen, all about a bird. Red kite screeching, dancing in the air. I see her again now, distant cousin, small mouse dreamer, keeper of the skies. Not a naturalist by nature, but it’s a definite theme; some strange winged and uninterpretable dream. You asked me once about my spirit bird and I’ve finally found an answer. The skylark and its trill? A glimpse of sunshine and summer thrills, hiding in the dunes. Or the swallow, dip – diving into autumn, lamenting its return?
There was a man, trenchcoat goth, a crow perched upon his shoulder – beady eyed, piercing Embra’s soul. Is that the one? Or the magpie? Kleptomaniac in monochrome, who made the local news: Brazen Pencil Thief, Cricket Match Spectators in Disbelief!
And once, aged twenty- two, I heard at four a.m., a nightingale, its concerto rise and fall. I thought I might die from the beauty of it all.
Rose -ringed parakeets on Hampstead Heath; masters of their jungle. Flash of green amongst the oak – too fanciful for me. But, it’s the kite, again, I’m drawn to; her solid circling, wild high cry, wise and fundamental. She turns my garden inside out – from a small backyard, to a world expansive and consequential.