Donnerstag, 10. Mai 2018

Die Mauersegler sind wieder da! The swifts have arrived once again!

This week though there is something new in the skies over Bonn. The swifts have arrived again from Africa.

Their stay is both brief yet intense and a most wonderful natural occurrence of Joie de la vie and sheer free and rampant flying skills. These amazing birds only make landfall to breed, often in church towers or the lofts of local tall houses. They literally do everything else on the wing.

The swifts are back!

Diving from your bell tower
On your maiden flight
Wings trembling with uncertainty
Tense with fright

Falling, falling, falling
Newton’s apple in your throat
You know your parents love you
But do they have to gloat?

The wind is rushing faster
The ground appearing near
Can this really be so normal?
My God, I’m feeling queer

Suddenly, your lungs are full and
The joy stick truly yanked
The curve is caught, new flight begins
We’re heading skywards, lessons banked

Fear vanquished, the ultimate flying machine
Makes the first few beats upon the wing
Conquers the air and to the sky is born,
The gleeful wingèd, feathered king

Flying like you never mean to stop
Full pilot control
No winged insect ever safe
On the Norway to the Cape patrol

At first great fear, now a mere “stroll” on the wing
Redefining “non-stop”
As your never-ending areal revere
Allows you perpetual “hip-hop”

What glee feel you now
Super, wingèd dove?
Flying for the United Nations
Master o’er all above

Screee, screeee, screeee,
Schreak, skrieck,
Skreigh skriegh
Scree skreigh

The will-o-the-wing
The screech-maker wiles and sings
Dicing, slicing through the rooftops
On vaulted wings

Some say a swift,
Urbane he be,
Can in the valleys
A mountain turn
To scree

I say a swift, rounding each and every
Roof top with such eternal glee.
In my rafters be

To nest and seek sojourn
To breed and rest a while
To take breath and breed
And like a stile

Spring into the the air
and fly forever, not like the idle swallow
“I fly today, now I’m grounded ...
and maybe fly again tomorrow!”

You are a continuous cacophonous symphony
Of eternal wondrous, individual flight,
Ecstasy in motion,
Were I you, I might know fright.

Knowing you, I know none
You come as last, and leave us early,
Perpetual marker of the seasons
Antipodal friend in the hurly burly

Summer’s diplomat with summer’s
Whiles do dance
The mountain’s summits are such, yet much lower
Than your daily death-defying night flying trance

Fly forever celestial creature
With cries like none others heard
But ‘twixt Spring and Summer return in May
Enchanting word-defying, breath taking bird.

John Harrison

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