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Sunday, 11 November 2012

A Month On: the final poem of a trilogy

Absent - one rosella
Others may disagree, but I think this spring in the Adelaide Hills has performed a rare show of warming up gradually. This is a pleasant and wondrous phenomenon. Typically, Adelaide’s weather seems to know little moderation; it’s hot as, or it’s cold (by comparison). One can never adapt because the range varies so much, often changing the maximum temperature by 10 degrees Celsius from one day to the next, in either direction. Thank you, Spring, for a gentle introduction to the heat and dryness of a Mediterranean summer downunder.

The final poem of the trilogy 'The futility of attempting capture' is here unveiled. I have added the first two poems (in grey) before it so that you can easily read the whole set. Scroll down to the new one if it all seems too familiar!

Calling card
This morning I communed with a rosella
through the dusty glass of my window.
He perched on a swaying twig of bottlebrush,
seeking a companion
with the ringing call of his kind,
glowing red and orange in the sunshine.
Then he turned an eye towards me
and began bobbing and chucking like a budgie,
With gentle movement, talking and singing,
I sent him on his search with a blessing.

My friend rosella was, vividly tangible,
God’s calling card,
for I, too, had been looking for company,
responding to the song of the creator
and listening, heart open, to his words
as he blessed me on my way.

‘Oh Bobby’
I called him Bobby after that first visit
when he’d warmed my heart
and charmed my imagination with his antics of bird curiosity.
He returned to that lichened twig by my window
several times a day
and I determined to capture it,
to celebrate our friendship
with a photograph, framed
neatly by the window (now washed).

Friendship, huh.

‘Oh Bobby’ became the wail of my longing
as all that remained of every attempt –
me creeping close with the camera poised
while he watched with one eye,
twitched and flew before the shutter closed.
The best I managed was a blurry shot, claimed
in triumph
and accidentally erased the same day –
all that remained was the flash of colour as he retreated,
to return another time with
his luring call and practised nonchalance.

A month on
I imagined he was alone
because he was seeking, waiting
for the right one in this season
of mating and ritual.
Daily I heard the ringing ‘pip, pip’ of the mate-call,
daily I caught up the camera
to frame him in his rosella glory
arrayed just out of reach.
The calls sounded
and I stopped whatever I was doing:
‘This time…’

I have become the lover
at the end of your siren song,
You, wild and free, calling
Me, captive to the intent of a perfect picture, answering.
But your only reply
is that lichened twig where we first met,
quivering with your absence.

I'd love to read your stories of communing with wild creatures, so why not post a comment with your own story here?

Until next week…
Claire Belberg

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