Reprise from August 2019 – the start of the fires on the east coast of Australia that traumatised a nation.
I don’t know why my husband and I felt compelled to stop at the old cemetery on that blustery day. We certainly didn’t go there to take photos. So maybe it was intuition, a guiding hand. The power of the robin. He. Red-capped robin.
That first time we saw him, he was merrily alone. He gave us a grand tour of the facilities and we felt at peace. We returned the following week. He was still there. This time with a lady bird. We returned a further two more times. On the third occasion, the lady robin was nowhere to be seen, but he – red capped robin – was as welcoming as ever. He had picked up another friend, a shy yellow-rumped thornbill. Wherever the robin went, the thornbill followed. It really was extraordinary to see them do their merry dance. On our last visit, the red-capped robin was gone. The raptors had moved in. I do not presume that the wee bird met his maker, but I shan’t let that get in the way of a good poem. Photos courtesy of my True Love.
Wing And A Prayer
winter visitor arrives unannounced
in the sleepy part of town
gathers his ecclesiastical robes and acolytes around
to sup from the eternal fountain of grace
judges not by riches or mental state
nor dwells on sins of mortal men
lives in the moment — not for all time —
dons his vestments with a flourish, a saintly wave
more apparition than godly bird
no tomorrows, no parting glass
yours only to ponder his divinity
his sacrifice, his lonely fate
A beautiful song for a beautiful bird. [Nicky Mehta performing her song, Arlington.]