Mark The Poet – The Podcast: Episode #46

My Poem “The Red Kites”

Against the bright blue of the morning sky
I see the dark silhouettes of many
birds of prey circling above
as they use the warm air currents
to fly, to glide, to quiver, and to hover
over the trees and the fields below –
and it took my a while to realise
who I was looking up at
and what I was looking up at,
however I instantly knew
that were not eagles, they were not hawks,
they were not seaguls, nor crows –
but it was not until I saw
the unmistakable reddish-brown
of the birds body and the black-streaked
pale grey feathers of their head,
and the forked feathers of their tail,
that I knew the identity of whom
and what I was looking at
and who and what were looking down upon me:
Red Kites, soaring like nothing
I had ever seen before,
gently drifting majestically
like princes and princesses of the air,
seemingly without a care, hunters,
acting on instinct and just being
who and what they were meant to be,
at the same time embodying the greatest
wish of life: the gift to be free –
and it was as I watched them
circle high above my head
that I wished I could be
just like the Red Kites,
because as they soared so effortlessly
they seemed as if they were like
something out of a dream
from my childhood and from a world
that my imagination brought to life
every day and every night.

My Poem ‘The Falcon’

Above my head,
soaring in the perfect, beautiful, morning, blue sky,
I see a falcon flying, hovering, floating on air,
looking, seeing, listening, hearing, feeling,
silently like a shadow, a silhouette,
passing right through the intense golden
and white light of the sun’s glare and stare.

The sight of the falcon is hypnotic;
the gift of the falcon is fantastic;
the freedom of the falcon is breathtaking;
the feeling I get from the falcon is amazing.

Watching the falcon move over the fields,
and cast a shadow over the ground below,
the spirit of the falcon looks even more incredible to behold,
because it’s colour is so dark upon the white frosty fields
that are the colour of snow.

I have always been in awe of birds,
especially “birds of prey” –
Eagles, Crows, Hawks, and in particular
the great and amazing Peregrine Falcon;
I have always felt as if I were an animal
who had reincarnated at the end of my life, in another life,
and my spirit used to be once in the body of a bird,
and I used to have feathers and wings,
and senses and instincts that were heightened and always turned on.
I have always wanted to live the life of a bird,
and fly like the wind;
I have always wanted to live free and unbounded,
and be with whom my spirit is, and has been, eternally twinned.

I envy the falcon that I see;
I empathize and I feel the beat of its heart;
I can fully imagine the exhilaration,
and how important and powerful it experiences
and feels every sensation;
I wish I had literal and physical wings,
so that I may not have to wait to go where I want to go
at any time, and fly all the time;
and if I had the choice one day about who or what
I might like to be in another future life,
I will take a second, I think, and then say
what I am thinking now:
I want to come back to life, and have the life,
and live the life of a falcon.

My Poem ‘The Dissimulation of Birds’

Have you ever walked past a hedge,
or a bush, a nest, or a tree,
and heard the tweets, the chirping,
the calls, the teachering of birds
being all that you can hear;
have you ever had a bird come up close to you,
and not for a second show and signs
of agitation, or fear;
have you ever seen a murmuration of starlings at dusk,
and been awestruck by the immense number, speed,
and constantly changing shapes it makes;
have you ever come face to beak
with a raven from the Tower of London,
and been so astonished by it and its interest in you
that you can’t and don’t want to look away.

The life of birds happens right along-side
the life of everything else on Earth,
independently, but occasionally overlaps;
the life of birds, the society of birds,
is self-sustaining, and it is an existence
that is at-one with nature and the seasons of Earth;
the life of birds requires impeccable memory,
instincts, and spatial orientation,
and a geographical blue-print in the form
of an incredible, second to none, internal map;
the life of birds is knowing
not just the distinct language of your own species
and recognizing it at a moments call,
but also knowing the voice of another class of bird,
and their potential intentions from a single chirp.

At dawn is when you will hear,
but not necessarily see, the majority of songbirds
that sing in chorus with one-another,
to make the most of the magical and beautiful sounds –
hearing the natural and amazing voice and melody,
while seeing the spectacular phenomena of a sunrise,
is a divine and wonderful experience that always astounds.

Different birds have different nests,
and every birds learns in time how to build a home
and a bed for themselves and for their mate and offspring;
different birds live different lives –
some regularly migrate to different
and recurring places and countries,
some stay the whole time in the country they first fledged,
and return to the same nests where they hatched, time after time.

Birds, as a collective species,
are one of the most intelligent and highly-evolved
forms of life on our planet;
birds have so many gifts to be envied –
I have always been fascinated by their freedom to go anywhere
with the miracle that they have of instantaneous flight;
I am convinced that birds convey more between themselves
than anybody in any language of humanity could ever convey in words.
If you ever want to see an incredible and beautiful thing
that speaks to our own need for independence
and interdependence you will see, hear, feel,
experience something special in a flock, a murder, a cloud,
a flight, a convocation, a charm, a congregation,
a watch, a dissimulation of birds.