River of wings

It starts with a drip, a drop, a splash

as a handful of starlings zoom past my window,

causing me to glance up from the computer screen.

I get back to work, but then

the trickle becomes a stream

and holds me, mesmerized.

Pulses, waves of flickering, fluttering birds,

hundreds, then thousands.

I cannot help but marvel,

following them with my eyes as they streak past,

just one tributary of a giant river of wings,

following them with my mind

to the nearby reedbeds

where they will join, and dance.

Thousands upon thousands coordinated

in breathtaking choreography

until on some secret signal

they descend to the reeds to roost.

Outside my window the river slows to a trickle

For a while, small flocks of stragglers whizz by

just drips and drops as darkness falls.

Sleep tight, little birds.

I really should be working

The sun streams onto my desk

distracting me with an open invitation.

I wander outside into the crisp

freshness of September

(I really should be working)

air cool, sun warm,

what a delicious combination.

I stroll, and admire the flowers.

This year’s robins practice their trills

and chase each other around the garden

(I should be working, really)

Dewy cobwebs sparkle.

The Chinese lanterns glow

like orange setting suns.

(Should I really be working?)

I have all the time in the world

to work,

long years of it left,

but this one moment of early autumn,

this particular combination of weather

and flowers and birdsong

will never happen again in

exactly the same way.

So I savour it.

Into the darkness

September, and

the nights are drawing in.

Long summer evenings seem

a distant memory.

In the house,

once the lights go on

the world outside seems

so dark,

so uninviting.

But it’s still there,

still waiting.

Tonight, I venture out,

stumbling until my eyes

grow accustomed to

shades of darkness.

A glow in the west

from the sun, long set,

faintly illuminating

a pale mackeral sky.

Clouds like ripples in sand,

and behind them

faint twinkling stars

guiding me to the north

and the beauty of the night

Mull of Galloway

Savouring the end of summer

among the last blooms of

thrift and sea campion,

the cries of unseen kittiwakes,

clouds of swallows and martins

and the arrow-straight splashing dives of gannets.

Mull of Galloway lighthouse

It’s that time of year when every bit of warm sunshine is savoured. The air is cooler now, the wind is blowing from the north, but out of the wind the sun is still hot. We sat in the sun on the Mull of Galloway, sharing the end of summer with the birds. Soon they will be leaving, the kittiwakes out to sea, the swallows, house martins and gannets heading south for warmer climes. A day to remember, sunshine,warmth and memories to light us through the winter darkness ahead.

Mull of Galloway
Colourful cliffs at the Mull of Galloway