the robin is first.
It makes way for the waves of dunnocks, of blue tits and sparrows and
finches of every hue.
The harlequins are dying
Like pebbles washed onto a foreign shore
The precursors of spring, the waves of birds and butterflies and bees
The waves that wash against this island in Oxford.
The waxwing that dashed itself to death against my window
The nuthatch, the firebrand, the waves of birds,
The geese that fly low, the berries that burst, the apples
Apples saving the blackbirds, the wren, the sacred wren
The nuthatch, shy of publicity and PR
The colin cook that shows up, from time to time to time;
The wheel of time, the kalachakra, the revolving of the seasons;
The Kite, the wheel, the sun and the moon and the sacred stars,
Marooned on my little island in Oxford,
The wheel turns, the apples fall, the dusty dons arise.
“My little flower grows in a pot,
“you have to give it water or that’s its lot.”
– Welsh Chancer, circa 1957