Slow sinking clump through compact white,
Polar wind carrying only muffled memories of sound
Like screwing up your ears through an eiderdown.
Face due North. End the cosy metaphor.
Close sounds. High pitched avian broadcasts
Speak of small bodied urgency cut to the bone.
The tree is festooned with birds on fatty garnish
Like an animated specimen case.
Then I see, just beyond the feeding ground,
Suspended, inverted, by single fuse wire foot,
A Blue Tit. Freeze frame enigma,
Its mate feather flaps a warning.
This is no acrobatic feat, no Parus circus –
Ice whips the threat of glacial shroud.
So with plume light touch, I collect the eleven grams
Into my igloo sleeve, heat transmitting.
One foot clings to palm flesh,
The other conducts the urge to follow.
Miracle of warmth, life force aligned.
Abruptly, the frantic flap of captive passerine.
Accordingly, it touches down atop the globe,
Hops along the top shelf of once read novels,
Is cornered on the pocket sized Collins Gems.
I am bird nurse turned jailer,
With impure thoughts of caging, studying, sketching.
But where every eight beat second counts,
In the clamourous foraging of abbreviated days,
The bird must fly to chance the glorious uncertainty.
By Lindsey Wakefield
See Lindsey’s artwork at The Hayloft Gallery.
Photo by Evgenii Zadiraka