My commission brief from Mrs. Melbourne: A present for her writer-husband’s birthday. They love owls. Their favourite poem. Could I weave these elements into a nest?
I had collected these beautiful grey-brown Tawny Frogmouth feathers and they were waiting for a home. They are actually closer to a nightjar, but Frogmouths make shallow saucer-shaped nests in forks of trees from criss-crossed sticks and dried leaves and a pair will mate for life until one of them dies (love!) Their eggs are white and spherical. All these elements came together in the basket below – oh and the curly tendrils are of course, passionfruit!
Thought of by you all day, I think of you,
The birds sing in the shelter of a tree.
Above the prayer of rain, unacred blue,
not paradise, goes nowhere endlessly.
How does it happen that our lives can drift
far from our selves, while we stay trapped in time,
queuing for death? It seems nothing will shift
the pattern of our days, alter the rhyme
we make with loss to assonance with bliss.
Then love comes, like a sudden flight of birds
from earth to heaven after rain. Your kiss,
recalled, unstrings, like pearls, this chain of words.
Huge skies connect us, joining here to there.
Desire and passion on the thinking air.
– Carol Ann Duffy