Sunday, December 08, 2019


—Anonymous Photo, Starlings in the Rain

(from WT Webb, ‘Science Fantasy no. 47’)
—Andrew Darlington, Osset, W. Yorkshire, England

she paints me
rain falls in heavy squalls,
the far side of the garden is hidden
the orchard is a writhing quagmire of birds,
I open the door, pace unsteady down the path,
the rain stipples my skin as I walk,
the birds lurch into the air ahead of me,
they fly in a half-circle on either side
in a dark bow-wave among murmurations
of starlings settling on bare branches,
I lose sight of the house among the trees
squint through an aviary of watery haze,
the bird-cries change pitch and tempo
I understand their words, their language,
a million wings in vengeful flight
rebellious as children at a saturnalian rite
to which my feet dance in sympathy,
the rain ceases, the sky has cleared
the starlings rise, a dark reverse snowstorm,
a night blackness of ascending wings
a lid that lifts from this garden
a vital part of me lifts with the swarm
sculpted in vibrant feathers, no longer
distinguishable among a pyramid of birds,
at the garden’s centre
she paints only a
formation of bones


—Medusa, and thanks to Andrew Darlington from over the sea ~

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.