Tag Archives teeming

AN ABSENCE OF STARLINGS

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‘My wall is loosening; honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.’

Meditations In Time Of Civil War, W.B. Yeats

 

Each year, there would be two nests –

in the eaves at opposite corners

of our square house. We would hear them,

scratching in the gutters – and Danny,

the window cleaner, an ‘affable irregular’

of the black economy, at the door for his money,

would report on their progress

through the spring and the summer –

and remark on the bees floating in the rhododendron

by the porch. “They’re light with honey,” he would say,

“light with honey.”

 

This year, though there are still bees, for the first year in nearly

forty years there is an absence of starlings,

not a one. I remember long dead, street-wise, innocent Danny,

who liked his drink, and whose ladders were stolen

twice. I remember the teeming, imperious,

cacophonous roosts of starlings that choired

the big city nights, high in the dark.

I think of the well-lit streets – greedy,

internecine.

 

 

 

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