Friday, 24 May 2013

Oh my chevalier

This morning, in my workshop,  I had a greater spotted woodpecker sitting on my window sill, looking at me while he decided whether to trust me not to move while he went for my peanuts. A greater spotted woodpecker at a distance of four feet is astonishingly gory. That red bum isn’t just a a splodge of scarlet, as it looks from a distance. It’s gouts of blood smeared on white feathers. I was itching to reach round and clean him up just as much as he was itching for the peanuts.
Then this evening, I took a walk up my lane and found a red kite standing on the air just 30 feet directly above me. Standing on the air evening though a fair gale was blowing. He rippled against it. I couldn’t move. It’s like a rainbow. How can you not stand and stare at it?
"I caught this morning morning's minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin,
Dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, - the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
 Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion."

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