Category Archives: Poems and Nursery Rhymes about birds

PRAYER FOR A BIRD

 

This week I have had one or two instances of people caring for wild birds and worrying about them.  We do care.  Somehow birds have woven themselves into our lives.  Here is how  Sue cared.  The prayer Sue mentions is shown below –  please read it and read Sue’s story

From Sue –

Trisha, Thank you for this prayer.  

A young blackbird flew into our window today. I heard the hard thud and guessed what had happened.

I went out and looked and it was still alive so went to get something to pick it up and wrap it in fully expecting delayed tea and a trip to the vet or local rspca but when I came back, only seconds, it had died.

I immediately went and made to bury it getting out little hand gardening tools. I carefully carried the poor little thing to a spot in the border in our garden a dug a hole.

I laid it gently at the bottom then went back to the house. I made tea for the family to leave time for the little bird to come round just per chance it was only stunned but, alas this was not the case.

I pulled some lavender stalks from some of our bushes and laid it around the little body, then gently sprinkled the soil over it and made it neat, finally covering with a sturdy terracotta pot so nothing could come and disturb the little bird. I felt the need to offer something by way of verse or prayer and found your site. Thank you again. S

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Sue, Thank you for sharing this with me and for caring.

You see, in 2009 I published the poem below and Sue has found it and it has helped her.  Magic. 

This is from 2009 –

Birds are so alive with bird song and movement.  I read this poem about the death of a bird and thought I would share it with you –

Prayer for the Burial of a Bird

This sparrow died today, O Lord,
Your feathered creature small.
We lay him in the friendly earth
And ask Your blessings on us all.

It made me remember clearly the day last year I found a dead sparrow near our garden gate.  I picked up this dead sparrow.  I was so amazed how light it was in my hand.  Ths feathers and bone together weighed hardly anything at all.  All the energy had gone from it (of course).

One reason I’m glad I started this bird diary is because it reminds me of what happened in the past.   There was nothing to show why this little sparrow had died.

We should treasure birds and enjoy seeing them full of live.  We shouldn’t take for granted their birdsong and their presence in or near our lives.

We should help them where we can.

Lets join together and feed the birds.

Best.Trisha.

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This is the link to the 2009 article

http://birdtablenews.com/2009/04/prayer-for-a-bird/

I must admit that when I put the poems and nursery rhymes onto Bird Table News I thought that it may seem a bit silly, but I’m glad I did and I will look for some more – or could anyone send me some

The Ash Tree – I hear your voice on the wind’s breath

They say you’re a tree not a person,

You’re not flesh and bone you are wood.

But the things that we like make us joyful

And joy is a gift borne of love.

 

They say that your limbs are but timber

And instead of a skin you have bark,

But I hear  your voice on the wind’s breath

And I feel your pulse in my heart.

 

They say in this life there’s a season

And a time when the hour is nigh

And always they say there’s a reason

Why all things that flourish should die.

 

They say that a tree cannot suffer

That a trunk can’t feel anguish and pain

But I see but blood where the sap flows,

And I’ve touched your vibes in your frame.

 

They say that you don’t have a spirit

But come the day your life must end.

forgive me my tears, I mourn not the tree –

But the death of a long-standing friend.

 

Gillian Walsh

Starling mimicry – a poem

We often see starlings flying in a
great flock,
swirling in evening sky before plunging earthwards
to their roosts, at this time of year,
when there isn’t much to cheer;
yet when I sat  by the quayside at a
Scarborough dock,
One suddenly flew down, alighting on a nest of lobster pots.

It sat there preening and picking
about, not in the least shy,
completely untroubled  by my
presence and others walking by
looking across the harbour at fishing
boats and yachts.

As if to prove whan an individualistic
character it could be
it proceeded to run through its
reportoire of birdsong mimicry;
great tit, chaffinch, green
woodpecked and curlew,
amusing itself and thoroughly
entertaining the lucky few.

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Have just been given this poem, but don’t know who wrote it.  I think it’s lovely.

PAPER BAGS AND BROKEN COMBS WILL REALLY WRECK THE PIXIE HOMES

The countryside is lovely all year round, but especially this time of year.  It is spoilt by people dumping their rubbish on the grass verges. and all over the countryside

Here is a poem written sometime in the 1920’s or before that date

PICNICS

If you go a-picnicking and throw your scraps about
You’ll never see the little folk go running in and out;
And if you leave your orange-peel all littered on the grass
You’ll never go to Fairy Land or see the Fairies pass.
For empty tins and tangled strings
And paper bage are not the things
To scatter where a linnet sings.

So if you go a-picnicking remember you’re a guest
Of all the tiny people, and you’ll really find it best
To leave their ballroom tidy and to clear away the mess,
And perhaps you’ll see a fairy in her newest dancing dress.

But paper bags and broken combs
Will really wreck the pixie homes
And frighten all the tiny gnomes.

But if you go a-picnicking and you are elfin wise
You’ll maybe  hear with fairy ears and see with goblin eyes;

The little folk will welcome you, and they will open wide
The hidden doors of Fairy Land and you will pass inside,
And maybe see a baby fay
White cradled in a cherry spray,
Although it is Bank Holiday

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Isn’t that a lovely poem?  I wish it was as easy as that to stop fly tipping. 

We are such a consumer society.  A throw away society.  It wasn’t like this when I was young.  For instance we had milk bottles that were recycled for ages.  One milk bottle would  be re-used again and again and again.  Now we use one plastic container every time we buy a pint of milk.  Ridiculous when you think about the millions of people who buy milk.  Why have we gone in this direction?  That is just one instance , but there are many more.

Here’s hoping in the future the countryside is left neat and tidy for wildlife.  Rubbish in the countryside can and does harm wild animals and birds.  We don’t have a right to thoughtlessly tip rubbish, harm wildlife and damage this countryside.  But we do – well some of us do.

A MEMORY OF CHILHOOD PAST

A journey from the city,
To the narrow country lane.
A memory so pretty
Of some playful childhood games.

The packing of the welly boots
Bought excitement in itself.
The sounds of the barn owl hoots
A few days in a secret world,  I felt.

The panoramic viewsfrom the cosy farm house.
What ran in front of me – wow a field mouse.
Cobwebs on the barn doors.
Hide and seek in bales of straw.

Rounding up cows in thick splodgy mud.
Smells you don’t forget, some would say are good.
Creeping into the house of the hens.
To me this was a heavenlyden.
The emotionwhen finding an egg freshly laid.
To touch its warmth, nature made.

Calves sucking my hands felt weird.
They were eager for their feed.
Early rise for cows milking.
Tired  eyes woul not stop blinking.
Seems like the middle of the night.
Keep away from the bull, could give me a fright.

Barns and sheds, doors led to doors.
Lets go in here, somewhere new to explore.

Long summer days.
The harvests dusty haze.
Running along the tractor trails.
Corn so long, in the wind it sailed.

An adventure to the village church.
The yard, the stones, the flowers, the smell of earth.

To the country town shop.  Oh! what a pleasure.
In the shop’s smooth paper bag, I held on to my treasure.
To open the bag up, back at the house on the farm,
More excitement before the calm.

The calm of the bath and the supper at night.
I hope Ican stay for another days delight

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I am so glad she remembers.

Silent Spring

 ‘Silent Spring’  – I read this book many years ago.  It really made me think how we take birds for granted and to this day when I hear birds singing I sometimes think of Rachel Carson’s book – even though it is over 20 years since I last read it.  It is so hard to imagine a Spring without birdsong

I remember when I read Silent Spring many years ago the thought that we had so much power over this Earth amazed the young ‘me’.  We humans had the ability to kill insects, birds and mammals through our technology
 
Rachel Carson covers a wide area in Silent Spring.  She covers the ecology of water, birds, plants, mammals, soil and chemicals.  One of the reasons this book is so memorable is the way she explains and tells the stories.

Rachel Carson was born on May 27 1907 in Pennsylvania, United States. She was a writer and a biologist

She also wrote the ‘Edge of the Sea’,  ‘The Sea Around Us’.
Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring shocked a lot of people (including me) because it showed how dangerous some pesticides could be. 

Silent Spring has been one of the books that has stayed with me all my life.  I have remembered parts of it when listening to modern news about pollution.  I have remembered Silent Spring when listening to birds singing.  The title is so simple yet so effective.  The message of the book is clear.

It is as relevant today as it was then, which is why it is still in publication and is still being read today.

Nature Poetry

Nature Poetry – poetry about anything to do with nature.  Birds are a part of nature.

The Book  THE POETRY OF BIRDS seems an interesting exciting nature poetry book

There are some amazing birds in this world and it seems there is also some amazing nature poetry about birds.

The Poetry of Birds has been put together by one birdwatcher and one poet.

Simon Armitage is the poet and Tim Dee is the birdwatcher.  What a wonderful combinatin.

I have always liked  poetry and I have always liked garden birds.  Nature poetry – poetry  about wild birds -to have this combination in one book is amazing.  I have  put  poetry / nursery rhymes that have a connection with birds on Bird Table News, but it would be wonderful to have a book such as The Poetry of Birds.  I’m sure I would read it more than once – it would be a nature poetry book to savour!

The poems range from  a 14C poem about a Thrush to the modern nature poet Alice Oswald.

Poets observe things in detail and often have see things with a different eye. I wonder what other poems this nature book has in store

There are so many different types of birds to write poetry about.  The wren, the eagle, the sparrow, the seagull, the robin, the crow, the blue tit, the rook, the swallow, the owl.  All so different yet classed under one heading ‘birds’.  I wonder if this bird nature book covers all those birds.

HARVEST FESTIVAL IN ENGLAND

I went to a wonderful Harvest Festival on Friday evening.

After some hymns and readings, Sally stood wearing wellingtons and a farming outfit. She had a spade in one hand. In the her other she had a mustard seed – which of course we could not see. She ‘planted’ this seed and covered it with imaginary soil. She wanted to show us how one small seed can spread and grow.

Out of a cloth bag she pulled some green material. The school children each got hold of this green material which miraculously in our imagination was the mustard tree fully grown. The happy children pulled and pulled the material – this green cloth mustard tree up the Church ailse past all the congregation. So there was a long, thin green strip on the floor on the Church aisle with children pulling it. This green mustard tree had long green shoots coming off the side and the children passed these long green shoots (green cloth) to members of the congregation sitting in the seats. We each passed the shoot to our neighbour and the ‘mustard tree branches’ were spread out along the rows of the congretation.

Everyone in the Church was involved and the green mustard seed became a wonderful green tree with branches spreading to every member of the congregation.

Then children with cardbird birds on poles ran up the aisle and sat at the top with their birds in their hands. Then Carol asked the children why the birds rested in the tree. A variety of answers were given.

One seed can make so much difference. If you plant one seed it can in time spread and help many other people, animals or nature.

We sang some lovely hyms and had some readings that the children and adults could understand.
Here are some of the Hymns.

FOR THE FRUITS OF HIS CREATION

For the fruits of his creation
thanks be to God;
for his gifts to ev’ry nation,
thanks be to God;
for the ploughing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safe-keeping,
thanks be to God.

If you would like to read the whole of this Hymn please click this link –
FOR THE FRUITS OF HIS CREATION

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Here is the first verse of THINK OF A WORLD WITHOUT ANY FLOWERS –

THINK OF A WORLD WITHOUT ANY FLOWERS
Think of a world
without any flowers,
think of a world
without any trees,
think if a sky
without any sunshine,
think of the air
without any breeze.
We thank you Lord,
for flowers and trees and sunshine,
we thank you, Lord,
and praise your holy name.

Doreen Newport (b. 1927)

If you would like to read the whole of this hymn please click this link 

THINK OF A WORLD WITHOUT ANY FLOWERS

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Here is the first verse of WE PLOUGH THE FIELDS AND SCATTER

WE PLOUGH THE FIELDS AND SCATTER
We plough the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered
by God’s almighty hand;
he sends the snow in winter,
the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes and the sunshine,
and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
are sent from heav’n above;
then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord,
for all his love.

Mathias Claudius (1740-1815)
trans. Jane Montgomery Campbell (1817 – 1878) alt

If you would like to read the whole of the Hymn please click this link –

WE PLOUGH THE FIELDS AND SCATTER THE GOOD THINGS ON THE GROUND

 

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There was then another hymn. This was one verse. I don’t know if I can put this hymn on Bird Table News. The title was – YOU SHALL GO OUT WITH JOY

There was clapping as well as singing in this Hymn. We sang it three times and each time we were asked to clap and sing louder. Adult voices mingled with childrens voices.

Birds were mentioned in this hymn as well.  It was lovely to give thanks for our food and think how we are all tied into nature and to be one congregation in one community.

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Do we take food for granted?  Do we take our Churches for granted?  Do we often think how we are linked to nature?