Birdsong by writer Eleanor Lees

By Eleanor Lees

Crow, crow! A jackdaw

Birdsong is something my blind friend has come to be able to identify – enjoying being able to tell me which songs are coming from which birds despite not being able to see them. She imagines them in her mind’s eye and describes to me how she sees them.

The collective flight of birds is something I enjoy, being able to identify which birds are which from the way they move, and I wanted to share this with her in a poem so that she could also enjoy the beautiful swathe of a flock of birds moving together in her mind’s eye.

Clatter of Jackdaw

Close your eye

Watch with me in dark or 

In brilliant white light

As I describe the 

Clatter of Jackdaw

Feverish flight of the pinkening night

Group-level consequence 

Of not slowing for a corner too tight

In sublime Kinematics the initiators of self

Morphology 

A story unfolds

The self-imposed spatial distancing for maximum velocity beholds 

The scansion

Of ancestors

As Starlings join Crows, mobbed by the air

Thrifty clouds are fighting the pale blue descent

Dark under waxing moon crescent

My neck tingles tiny hairs

As a feather floats 

To the foot of my foot

And I daren’t look 

Any more

At this private dance in the sky of skies

Now I close my beady eye

And I sense that you feel the feathers soft edge

More than I

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