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Tag Archives blackbird

UNDER THE PLUM TREE

Under the plum tree, in the sun, an old man,

reads the last paragraphs of ‘Wuthering Heights’.

‘My walk home was lengthened by a diversion

in the direction of the kirk. When beneath

its walls, I perceived decay had made progress,

even in seven months: many a window

showed black gaps deprived of glass; and slates

jutted off here and there, beyond the right line

of the roof, to be gradually worked off

in coming autumn storms.’ From one of the branches

of the tree metal feeders hang with seeds.

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VIRTUALLY BIRDLESS IN ASSISI

For Sarah:  always a conservationist, latterly a twitcher.

 

i

 

In Umbria – the cuore verde of pristine, wooded hills,

Orvieto’s honey-pale wines,

the paintings of Perugino and Pisano,

the Tiber’s milky jade,

tartufo nero

they stew thrush.

 

ii

 

At least once in our suburban garden,

house sparrow, green finch, ring-necked dove, wren,

jay, wood pigeon, robin, starling,  

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SOMETHING OF SUMMER

While, at the last outpost of its empire,

a blackbird sounds reveille and, next door,

red admirals repose in buddleia,

something of summer, caught in the early air

and gathered, a lightness, perfumed, bold,

is touching narrow, walled-in gardens

where, high over houses epochs old,

wood pigeons flute in maples and a thrush,

lost in the snows of a pear tree, cuts notes

like glass. Neglected blossom lights

along the chipped and blackened bricks, a rush

of scent from satiny blooms,

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VIRTUALLY BIRDLESS IN ASSISI

The Dodo, Ustad Mansur, Agra, 1610

The Dodo, Ustad Mansur, Agra, 1610

 

 

 

For Sarah:  always a conservationist, latterly a twitcher.

                                 i

In Umbria – the cuore verde of pristine, wooded hills,

Orvieto’s honey-pale wines,

the paintings of Perugino and Pisano,

the Tiber’s milky jade,

tartufo nero

they stew thrush.

 

ii

At least once in our suburban garden,

share