Monday 13 March 2017

Desert Larks


Two balls of dusky camouflage
lost to their playful scurry
I am in no hurry
to rise
to disturb these twin juvenile desert larks
rolling and cavorting in the dawn light
their trills crescendo into my wake up choir.

The frenzied fluster of flapping wings
tickles my nostril.
I am still,
except for watering eyes
from my smothered sneeze
stifled into my own down.

They dance and play
oblivious to my awakening.
Not threatening,
I lie
watching in wonder and awe
expecting the breeze to rustle them
off into the distant dunes.

Two balls of feathered ancestry
as ancient as pharaohs
as fluffy as the angora boleros
of my childhood
full of comfort and warmth.
the birds’ sand bath grains rise
like the sparks of last night’s fire.

© Sheila Ash, 13th March 2017

Note: I think these were Ammomanes deserti whitakeri, the South Algerian desert lark. One morning in the Sahara I woke up to a pair only six inches from my nose.

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