Bird Song in Mariupol
Walking out on a glorious spring day
Bird song fills the air above my head
Amsterdam is a- ok, while far away
Ukrainian bells toll their latest dead.
Few trees left standing, no eaves to nest
As far as a hawk’s eye can see: rubble
Walking in Mariupol means instant death
And staying, caged in a steel works tunnel.
Locals claim they’ve seen shadows of birds
Gliding like augurs over the shattered town
And the voice of a soldier can still be heard
Singing her heart out as bombs rain down.
So much from so little, the power of song
Springs from a handful of words and notes
Driving emotion against those in the wrong
Strengthening the bond of the Ukrainian folk.
Bird songs can be clearly detected
In western newscasts from the front line
Nature’s routines seem unaffected
Performing to the habits of time.
Down to his last tractor, an old man
Defiantly plants sun-flower seeds
Within range of a Russian battalion
Whose shells flatten houses and trees.
He no longer hears his garden’s song
Despite the beauty of its score
The birds involved are 30 strong
Including the carrion crow and its caw.