Poems can tell stories – I hope this one does – stories which seem to have a meaning beyond the events.  This is a story from the past week or so in my garden –  one of the many that unfold daily.  The story of a pigeons’ nest I uncovered.

As I began writing, I thought of the dilemma we all face as humans sharing their home with other creatures – how to live lightly, how to nurture and care for all who share our little bit of land.  As a large and powerful creature in this world, I have responsibility. I wrote about feeling like a giant in my own garden in Pulling up trees. In this instance, I had not seen the parent birds going in and out of this shrub. I thought I knew where all the nests were. I thought I had left it late enough. I was mistaken..

As the days passed, I cheered the two youngsters on as they adapted to their new situation – a nest with a view.  Their mother just carried on caring for them, a little nervously at first, protecting them from rain, feeding them, sheltering them from the midday sun, even though they were now exposed to the crows, and the buzzard, that fly overhead.  Without that care, they would not have survived.  With it, they are thriving still, despite my unintentional assault on their home. No one in this family is giving up.

When I speak positively of their new, open situation, of course that is not about the birds, but about me.  The birds are better off hidden.  I was beginning to think of how we, when faced with hard change, can raise our eyes, and find courage and hope in even an unaccustomed view.
The world is full of parables.



I leave things wild.
I plant flowers the bees
and butterflies
Ground cover
covers the ground,
and frogs and newts
rest in the shade.

So, this is not what should happen
when my window is crowded with leaves
and I wait till high summer
till the birds are quiet
to cut
hard and deep.
the ratcheted loppers
slice through wood.

I stop

As I see those two strange
black creatures,
yellow feathered,
shaking in their nest.
I step back, as quietly as I can,
shaking too,
a destroyer of their world.

Inside, I close the curtain,
peep around to see
the mother bird nestles them,
tends and feeds them.

They thrive and grow
in this newly open nest,
small strange dinosaurs,
now fledglings
stretching their wings,
seeing all that space
all that light
in which to rise,
and fly.




One thought on “Nest

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