Swifts and Swallows

These small birds are feeding now on the wing before their long journey south to Africa. You might just see the blurred flash of a swallow in the centre of this recent photo – far quicker than the shutter!

hungry beaks open
fast wings outfly their bodies:
swallows hunting prey

© Words and image Lizzie Ballagher

On this May day

A favourite month for many people, how welcome is May!

On This Day

On this day
When pale cherry blossoms confetti pink from trees,
When bees hum bright from crevices in broken walls,
When aspen seeds and thistledown float soft in air,
When sycamores unfurling drop their tassels—gold—

On this day
When whistling swifts arrive
To scallop and swoop
Quick, dark lightning
Over roofs and under eaves—

On this day
I tread with you through deep bruised skies of bluebells:
The first of May—
On this day.

(c) Lizzie Ballagher