Birds

Franz_Marc-Birds_(Vögel)_(1914)

Still they come, the birds,

not sky-filling but speckling

in discreet patches, moving targets,

keeping out of range, horizon to horizon,

tree-resting with folded wings

then moving on. Birds

calling, lingering the time of a meal

to flash bright feathers and fly where birds

go to be just birds,

find seeds, grubs undisturbed.

Spring springs from their wings unfolded,

defying cold and gale, storm-windy rain; the birds

still come, little heroes.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

20 thoughts on “Birds”

  1. Tenderly expressed, and very uplifting. Funnily enough, I’m currently working on a post lamenting the fact that the birds don’t come any more … reflecting, I suppose, the difference between your rural French retreat and my suburban English garden. I think you’ve got the better deal!

    1. There are probably far fewer birds here than there used to be. Until the and of the 80s it was still a landscape of tiny fields separated by hedges and full of cows. The lane we live on didn’t even exist. It all changed with the encouragement to increase field size. The dairy farmers sold up and the hedges went. We see a variety of birds on a daily basis but we also have what you don’t have, dozens of middle aged pensioners with big guns and a dog popping away at everything that moves. They pretend there are still masses of things to kill, but there aren’t.

  2. If only they could live out of range all the time. They are “little heroes,” certainly. It’s ironic to think they might be safer in migration, when the distances are far across the Earth.

    The image is dramatic and effective. The prismatic technique is so impressive.

    1. Thank you. The dawn chorus has started here. The weather is really springlike not a bit of cold left in it. The birds are much less interested in the food we put out for them which means I suppose that the insects must be active. Since the hay man didn’t come back as promised to tidy up the meadows and finish the parts he didn’t bother with in July, there are still quite a lot of pickings for the seed eaters. Who care if it looks a mess?

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