13 August – Ode to sparrows

This song’s for the sparrows,
perennially underestimated jewels
who dart and dive and flap and squawk,
under incomprehensible mob rules.
Daredevil kamikazes almost brushing the hairs on your head,
little gutter acrobats drinking up rain and scavenging for bread.
Disruptors of ordered vegetable beds, with a taste for bathing in soil,
who use the potting shed’s asphalt roof to exfoliate tummy and tail.
Shakers of Viburnum branches, huge gatherings full of clamour,
making up with plenty of drama for all they lack in glamour.
Balancing on bamboo pole ends, on top of the bean teepee,
extreme perchers excelling at what looks impossible to me.
Why are they so dismissed, barely given a second look,
when their characterful shenanigans deserve a story book?
Perhaps it’s time to make them heroes of a famous tale or two,
or at the least to underline they’re well worth bird watching too.