Favourite Bird Poems

To: Brian Hawkins <>, Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Favourite Bird Poems
From: Peter Higgins <>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 09:03:56 +1100
Hi Brian and Birding-Ausers

"The Death of the Bird" by A.D. Hope for me.  Apart from it being a truly amazing piece of writing, he manages to understand and include the biology.  Brian, we met at a couple of the events for the inaugural Festival earlier this year and I'm looking forward to next year's.  All the best


The Death Of The Bird
 For every bird there is this last migration;
 Once more the cooling year kindles her heart;
 With a warm passage to the summer station
 Love pricks the course in lights across the chart.

 Year after year a speck on the map divided
 By a whole hemisphere, summons her to come;
 Season after season, sure and safely guided,
 Going away she is also coming home;

 And being home, memory becomes a passion
 With which she feeds her brood and straws her nest;
 Aware of ghosts that haunt the heart's possession
 And exiled love mourning within the breast.

 The sands are green with a mirage of valleys;
 The palm-tree casts a shadow not its own;
 Down the long architrave of temple or palace
 Blows a cool air from moorland scraps of stone.

 And day by day the whisper of love grows stronger,
 The delicate voice, more urgent with despair,
 Custom and fear constraining her no longer,
 Drives her at last on the waste leagues of air.

 A vanishing speck in those inane dominions,
 Single and frail, uncertain of her place.
 Alone in the bright host of her companions,
 Lost in the blue unfriendliness of space.

 She feels it close now, the appointed season:
 The invisible thread is broken as she flies;
 Suddenly, without warning, without reason,
 The guiding spark of instinct winks and dies.

 Try as she will the trackless world delivers
 No way, the wilderness of light no sign,
 The immense and complex map of hills and rivers
 Mocks her small wisdom with its vast design.

 And darkness rises from the eastern valleys,
 And the winds buffet her with their hungry breath,
 And the great earth, with neither grief not malice,
 Receives the tiny burden of her death.

Peter Higgins
PO Box 99, Sawtell, NSW 2452, Australia
t: 02 6658 5289
e: m("","bronzewing");">

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