Sunday, 18 August 2013


The moon is like a woman this evening, beautifully incomplete. 
She is just a smudge of white in a sky of blue and grey and
eucalyptus treetops.  Below her, predators soar and swoop, and I,
I who am in love with these bad boys of the sky, I walk, and I sing
love songs to the kites as they fly.  I sing and I think they hear me,
four of them, because they come to where I am and fly only above me,
lower and lower, leaving the rest of the sky to the rest of their family,
other kites, and to more distant relatives:  bright green parakeets
on double dates, shrieking in delight as they hurry towards
the setting sun, crows crossing over, pigeons going nowhere.

I sing the higher harmony of Beatles’ songs, although I am an alto
and a smoker, because I think that the kites may hear better
a higher pitch that is closer to their own tremulous whistle.
I can see their claws, and the rips in their feathered profiles,
 leftovers from their victories and defeats.  I lose myself
in them, in their dark silhouettes, in every turn of their heads
and subtle shift of their tail feathers.  I cannot believe that
they are only scouting for food to snatch from my hands,
because I am here every evening, holding a lighter, a phone,
a pencil or a notebook, sometimes lifting a cigarette or
a bottle of water to my lips, and they have never swooped down
for these.  I know they can’t understand the words I sing, but
 I like to think that they can sense the feelings:  awe, wonder,
infatuation, envy.

Above us, she shines, but dimly.  It is not her time yet.  She peeps
out from behind grey muslin cloud every now and then, flashing
for a few moments the brilliant beauty she is not yet ready to share.
Across the sky, the sun is sinking.  Some days he goes down
with a roar, setting fire to the clouds around him, turning
green treetops to glowing embers.  Today though, he settles down
so quietly I do not notice he is going until I hear the call
 to maghrib* prayer.  I think he has understood her need to sing
this evening, and he knows that she will not sing as long as
he stands before her, she cannot reveal her song to a sky
that is not yet quite hers, and so he exits silently and with grace.

The kites have flown away, back to their rain trees, all but one,
who sits on top of a fir tree like a dark Christmas angel.  I gaze
up at him, forgetting to sing my own songs, hoping that
he sees me and feels me, but he never once turns his head
in my direction.  It is not me or my song that he waits for,
I realise.  He too has been waiting for her.  

I sigh and tear my eyes away from him to lift them even higher,
up to her.  The sun has gone and a wind breathes gently
close to her so that the clouds drift away from her face,
and it is such a beautiful face to see it makes my heart ache.
I look back at the kite, and I know he sees her too.  And in
that moment I think that he knows I know, because the next second
he is gone, like every bad boy after a sharing too unexpectedly intimate.  

A tiny bat scuttles across the twilight, and above her, the moon
takes a deep breath.  I feel that she does not need my audience tonight,
so I turn and head downstairs.  Tomorrow will do.  I will be back,
and so will she, and so will my dark angel.

* maghrib - at sunset, the fourth of five daily prayers asked of Muslims by God

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