Lockdown Walk No. 15, Drama, beauty and pathos by Colleen Keating

 

Like any good story, musical  or opera this lockdown walk is filled with drama,  beauty and pathos. Each one or all can be included in any such moment or  experience.

DRAMA         Copulation

When we sat for lunch at Karagi Point
on the north side of the lake
the native miners
put on a a gregarious noisy performance.

It was a frenzied communal event.
The song was of soft low frequency
(compared with their warning and feeding calls).

The female flew down
onto a warm sandy patch of ground
spreading out her grey wings
in a splayed fashion. . .
called a bowed-wing display
her wings arched, head pointing down
tiny pattern of yellow exposed.

Michael suggested she was having a sand bath
until he read up google and we realised
we were witnessing its copulation ritual.

The chatter of miners flying
low from tree to tree
and then the mating and necking on a low branch
kept us entralled

The music was our lunchtime concert.
It was constant and persistent
with shades of  play and play and drama.

Some people dislike the native miner
(sometimes called the noisy miner and the garrulous honey eater)
for their songs but for me
it is a joy to the ear and the spirit.

BEAUTY           Nankeen Kestrels performance

The sudden awareness of catching
the first glimpse of the ocean
over the rim of the sand dunes
and its aqua-marines of blue and green
brings us alive.

Like the shock of jumping into cold water
we catch our breath in amazement
declare ourselves
thalassophiles over and over again.

We find our familiar table
to have a cup of tea
and sit as poets contemplating.

As if on queue it comes
out of the cloudless sky
circles out and around –
the air its partner
in a Vaughan Williams dance.

Closer and at our eye level
with its tail to us
it hovers
the air its magic rug.

It slender wings open wide
fanned tail quivers
in its perfection of
buff and tawny brown lines.

Quivering excitedly
it drops
a daunting direct drop
into the grassy dune
reappears, poises on a fence post
and then takes off
not even leaving an air brush on the sky

What just happened?
An  extraordinary gift.
We hardly remember breathing
entralled by its drama and beauty.
We know it didnt come  for us
but it was something of ours to behold
a brightness we could marvel about

and who can explain ‘coincedence’
or ‘serendipity’
and the tawny kestrel coming just now , just here.

we had slowed down,

were open,

were present

and it was there.

 

After lunch we walked to investigate the fenced off area
all ready to welcome the flights of Little Tern that migrate
from Japan to breed in the summer .
Thrilled to see the signs: educational and warning and the CCTV

PATHOS     A graceful pilot under threat

it makes a heroic journey
to find warm sand-dunes to breed

it risks lonely blue wipeout
baffles wild winds and storm

it traces a memory it does not have
until it flies to remember it

alone and together
it lifts off

navigates with the pull of the moon
and hummed magnetic tones of earth

it is endangered in this civilised world
how good to find

our council has fenced off an area
leaving drift wood and sea grass

to welcome the little terns
this summer.

 

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