16 June 2011



Under concrete eaves
Their amber beaks
Such tiny tender V's
Reached blindly for the sky
From their maternal nest
Where a verdant mango branch
Had stretched itself.

For three weeks
From my Bangkok balcony
I had watched the languid
Streak-eared bulbul drama

Skittishly weaving
The to-ing and fro-ing
Of mum
Her little black eyes
Like tiny sequins
And then the three pale eggs
That she sat upon
Like watercolour pebbles
Flitting only when
She heard me at my door.

Finally 6.57am
June thirteenth -
There they were -
A yard from my open mouth -
Demanding sustenance,
Claiming time.

Grinning stupidly
I vowed to photograph them
When I got home...
And in that early evening,
As monstrous nimbus
Grew steely grey above the concrete tollway
Arching over rainbow-coloured
Traffic jams

I crept out to observe
The infant
Picnonotus blanfordi
Only to find them gone -
Too young to fly,
Too young to die -
An emptiness revealed.

Nobody mourned the helpless hatchlings
But me.
I turned to watch the world news
From the paternal BBC -
From Yemen to Syria
From Myanmar to Libya
Eyes raised blindly to the sky
For liberty and justice -
And the basic right to fly.


  1. An amazingly beautiful, thoughtful and touching rendering, my friend. Happy Father's Day.

  2. thats rather sweet pud....

  3. Goodness YP, what happened to them do you think? What a shame.
    A story well told .

  4. That touched the depths of my bird-loving heart. I'm going to send the link to my fellow bird nerds.

  5. That brought tears to my eyes. The circle of life is sometimes far too tiny. :-(

  6. I loved the poem, YP. Such a shame the fledgelings disappeared, though.

  7. MOUNTAIN THYME Your response is received with gratitude.
    JOHN GRAY Sweet pud? You mean like jam roly poly or is that something that Welsh sheep farmers like to do on a night out in Rhyl?
    LIBBY As for Madam Thyme. Thanks.
    HELSIE I think a snake, a rat or other predator came up the tree to take them as food.
    JAN B. I am blushing with unbridled pride over your enthusiastic response. It means a lot to me. To have a poem like that emerging from solitary hidden depths into the light and to have it acknowledged by other intelligent human beings is worth a great deal.
    KATHERINE P Wow! Tears. I never expected tears but I am so very gratified that the poem really touched a chord with a woman like you who I know for sure is immersed in nature.
    JENNY Yes. I did not make it up. They had really gone before their time to fly. Perhaps another bird took them. I wish I knew.

  8. This simply stunning YP. I'm in awe - superb.


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