Monday, July 28, 2008

stanage poem


Why I'm not a twitcher *
Unlike Molly Crawford - writer, conservationist,
twitcher - I'm a poet. I like birds, but poetry
better. I've got a grant now, a writing project.
So, I'm a poet, on the road to Stanage
and birds are singing all around.

Birds don't notice poets. Their songs
go on. At intervals I write notes
for poems. Ray eats soft cheese
with those toasted baby bagels
he likes. I wish the sun was out.

Crows caw caw, ever present and
I miss the close up as a raptor lifts,
drop the last piece of camembert
onto my notes. Some of it sticks
when I scoop it off with my fingers.

Ray smokes and I smoke and birds
sing through each click. Ray says,
"Anything to drink?" I take the top off
the water, and get the camera out.
Thinking about Molly as we drive.

We get to a marshy stretch, two
brolgas and a crane are visible, so
Ray slows the car for a photo op.
I say, "They look like wood-cuts", but
he thinks they look better than that.

I can hear birds singing all around.
We've done 50 k's dodging pot holes
on the dirt, crossing sandy creek beds
that cut the road in the wet. Ray smokes
and I smoke. I put the window down.

The camera jiggles in my lap, along with
maps and my glasses. We drive through
another patch of fog. My notebook is
filling with poems; whimbrel, limosa
limosa, and red-necked stint as titles.

Still another 40 k's of dirt to drive along
before we get where we're going. On the
road to Stanage, a whole lot of birds are
endlessly singing. I'm calling my poems
'camembert notes' when they're finished.


* a person who travels long distances
to look at birds

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