The Burchell’s Coucal is a fierce and awesome bird. When this individual locked eyes with me in the Pilansberg I had the sense of a great personage looking down on my endeavours.
“The Rainbird” by Douglas Livingstone
One day you turned to me and said “goodbye”,
“we’re all washed up,” and “better we should part.”
Then as my spirit jerked and bobbed afloat
I drowned in unreality to lie
upon a muddy world that leaned awry
with bubbles, weed, old boots and fishy dart.
Then from this depth I stood, absurd, remote,
and drifted out.
Beneath a filmy sky
I paused to listen to my flustered heart
and heard instead the Rainbird’s liquid note.
I surfaced, walking with a firmer tread
and joined the Rainbird in his mournful art.
But as the cricket in his plastic coat,
I gaily chirruped how my love was dead.