Well you could barely see them really, but a few months ago , in winter, one dawn I saw the crescent moon and the planet Jupiter. The planet was up on a diagonal from the curve of the moon. Like a parachute blowing out of control in a strong wind, canopy downward and the planet swinging up and away into the morning sky. The branches made it hard to see, hard to locate, and as the wind was blowing the view was obstructed by the swaying trees. Most of the time the planet would be visible and the moon not and then vice versa.
So why am I telling you this? Because I spotted the photo and I wanted to practice describing it. I’ve mostly spoken about the Moon and Jupiter, not about the surroundings. The horizon. Is hidden by the line of shop roofs and tree branches. The sky has lightened but the sun is not up. The position of the sun (down and to the left) is indicated by the illumination on the moon (trust me it was a crescent curved downwards to the left). So that’s it. Not a story, a description.
We have a couple of magpies in the garden. They have decided to build an untidy nest in the top of a tall sycamore tree. I know their reputation for collecting things to line their nests with, but today I witnessed both of them picking up twigs over twice their body lengths. I watched the resulting tangle with amusement. Both of them had the long twigs held horizontal in their beaks. The trouble was, like a dog with too long a stick trying to get through a door, the sticks got caught on branches as they tried to fly up to the nest. Once the twig fell back to the ground and it took the magpie a few minutes to get it firmly back in its beak and properly balanced.
Seeing them both high in the tree top trying to tuck bits into their nest was fascinating. I do worry for other local birds as they have been known to steal baby birds but I do admire their tenacity.
Branches and limbs thinning and curving
Straggling twigs like fly away hair.
Skeletal, swooping and sweeping
Black trunk against white clouds.
Old birds nest up high
A roost for a crow?
Like an old venous or arterial system
Your juices are not flowing now
Sclerotic and tired
Can you be rejuvenated
Will your sap rise again?
Are buds hidden,
Waiting to burst-
Stay a while and see
Wait out the winter
Then explode like a firework blooming in light.