27 July 2016

Into this bright morning

Into this bright morning 
when birds are singing
may I walk with God;
When worry and confusion 
attack at noon day
may I talk with God;
In the heat of the afternoon
weary already of the day
may I put my trust in God;
In the cool of the evening
as the light fades from the sky
may I give praise to God;
In the kindly dark of the night
may my soul take its rest 
in the heart and love of God.

21 July 2016

I Name this Slug ... 
or,  After the Referendum

I found a slug in my garden
this dull grey morning;
an undulating brown body
this damp grey morning;
with swivel eyes and evil smile
this cold grey morning;
shouting loud his success to all
this bleak grey morning;
offering the world to his clan
this dire grey morning;
his very presence an insult
this sad grey morning.

Oh unloved and unlovely slug,
I think your name is Nigel.
June 23rd 2016

09 July 2016

The Red Kite

Milvus milvus - the Red Kite, Wales 1980

I stand, still as a stone in the dark shadows
leaning my back against the rough cottage wall,
spellbound by the unfolding drama above
where the Red Kites hover in the sunlit sky.
Circling on the upward thermal they keep guard
above the oak tree where they have made their home,
a wide nest of stout twigs lined with soft sheep wool,
a first brood for this cwm since many a year.      

The cock bird flies high, then dives toward the nest
his long slim body like some bronze feathered spear,
pale grey head, then russet sleek to wide forked tail.
Golden eyes searching out dangers threatening,
he scans the sky for crows, ready to defend
the high empty nest against their predations,
looking for humans who hide in the bracken
with sinister khaki canvas collecting bags.

But, just one small old man, deerstalker hatted
sits on a small stool near the foot of the tree,
today’s sentry to keep safe the precious pair,
no black crows intruding, no thieves lie waiting.
As the Kites settle down, more dangers will come,
illegal poisons, and arrogant hunters
who see themselves as the lords of creation
presuming mere birds to be their rightful prey

As our Kites rise together on the thermal
they dance in a circle of love, fluttering,
mewing and calling to announce their union,
for Red Kites are loyal and will pair for life.
For forty long days she will sit on her eggs
while he takes care of her and hunts for their food,
fresh fish and a rabbit, mole-crickets and frogs.
An earthly marriage, but one made in heaven.

Watching the Red Kites, their pinioned elegance,
their muted dignity and effortless flight,
reminds me that a bird may be a miracle 
whose beauty can outshine that of a woman,
with loyalty greater than that of a man.
As they rise upwards towards the sun I pray 
that we may love these our brothers and sisters
for all earth’s creatures are the children of God.