Monday, 20 April 2015

Day 20: Birds

Oh I'm not following the prompts at all this year! I find a lot of them...constraining to be honest. 

I've been held up a lot with NaPo this year, second-guessing myself and leaving days run by with no poems. But today has been a lot of fun. Operative word in this monthly jaunt. No critical second-guessing or endless edits, just stream-of-consciousness go-with-the-flow spontaneous writing. My subject matter is the wonderful world of collective nouns, birds especially. Fantastic poetry fodder (see the link above for ideas.) 

(I think I was channeling Billy Collins here... hmm :)

Ornate Ornithology

Imagine a flamboyance of flamingos,
their coral feathered tutus a sensation 
ambling by the local river like
Spanish dancers, all frills and thrills, 
pink as tropical cocktails.

Or a siege of herons as they descend 
on the sea's edge like stealthy aircraft.
Armoured stillness as they stalk a meal
and long-legged patience virtuous, 
heads helmeted against the elements.

Picture a pride of peacocks marching
to the shimmy of their own vanity,
all sapphires and emerald eyes, 
a pageant of ostentatious beauty. 
Bejeweled show-offs that put lions to shame.

Imagine the sound of an exaltation of larks -
Hark! - their wingspans exclamation marks
struck against sky, melodious choral arias
that bid a hearty welcome to morning, 
sweet alarm for sleepy lovers.

Or the thrum and hum of a murmuration 
of starlings as they swoop, swoon and soar
across the dusk, spectacle of synchronised 
sweep and dive, scatter and re-group;
whispers, being told to sky.

Or the prattle of parrots - now that 
would be fun: clatter of chatter and natter
and whistle barrage of 'Who's a pretty boy?
over and over (and much more besides - 
especially a word that rhymes with 'duck'.)

Though give me just a blush of robins, 
flush of colour in a winter-wearied garden, 
little heart-bleeding cheeky beggars
as they hop for crumbs, scald snow
with their flame red tums. 

And stay clear of a tidings of magpies:
one for sorrow, never another for joy. 
A conspiracy of one, shiny woeful plumage.
As for an unkindness of ravens - well -
I'll leave them to Poe.

But best of all - watch a gulp of swallows 
as they abseil an April sky, home at last.
Blue and white trapeze flashes, freefall sassy dazzles -
as if the whole sky is their playground,
the whole day a gift they reel from.

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