A poem on the sky






Reading Jean-Christophe Bailly’ The Animal Side, I find this lovely passage about watching a murmur of starlings:

‘ . . . one evening on the Loire and over a period of hours, the perpetual movement of a flock of starlings endlessly forming liquid figures, a triangulation of black dots departing, then suddenly turning back like iron filings attracted by an invisible magnet moving in the sky. Nothing more, perhaps: only flight, the idea of flight, embodied in flight as we see it and as it comes and goes before our eyes – and precisely as if there were in it, in its very dependence and in its pure effect of law, of a law actualized, a condensation of what is not only free but truly liberated and activated in the sky, the signature of pure intoxication with living, in a singular and dreamy beat.’

So I dig out this sequence of photos I took three years ago, on the road from Perelada to Mollet, with the Alberas behind, and the starlings doing their thing, writing a poem on the sky.

2 Comments on “A poem on the sky

  1. Birds Like Me

    The starlings, I’ve noticed,
    Follow me around;
    They wait, restless and scratching,
    In the eaves of my house,
    Fly over my car,
    Rest on nearby branches
    At the red lights
    All the way from Comox
    To the air park
    Where they perch high
    In the aspen, all squeaky
    With droid-like chirps and whistles
    As I walk the loop.

    On the way home, the pigeons
    Never fail to nod
    From their telephone wires
    At Portuguese Joes,
    Either at me or the starlings,
    It’s hard to tell we’re so close,
    Living this way.
    Still, I greet the pigeons,
    Shout compliments
    To opalescent feathers
    Through the open windows.

    I say nothing of their clumsy flight,
    Their jilted walk that reminds me of Christopher Walken–
    Perhaps pigeons followed him around
    And in time, my starlings will murmur poems
    And I will learn to flow in perfect tandem
    With birds like me.

    Natalie Nickerson 2017


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