Aves

Twenty-two prose poems, each dealing with a single species, document Gerry Cambridge’s lifelong fascination with wild birds. This is from Ardea Cinerea (the grey heron):

‘Old Nog – Henry Williamson’s coining. Spearer of fat rats; eel-wrestler. Fun, giving it names, affectionately prefaced by “old”: spearheid, grunzel, highshanks, greyjack, langthrapple; for can one imagine it young, young at least in spirit? Or imagine it female either? In my head they are always male, hodden-doun, long coat belted with baler twine; stubbly and jut-cheek-boned, bird of dreich weathers, distrustful to a fault: an expert at ignoring the question that anyway you couldn’t get close enough to ask.’

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