Poem 20 And 21: Goodbye to Summer. Fly Well, Fly Safe.

It is the equinox, the official end of long summer days. It is thought that this rather than any change of temperature is the way the migrating birds know they must leave for Africa’s warmth and food. The swifts usually go in August but house martins often have a second brood and will leave as late as September. The bee-eaters gather together too around this time. At Navasola there have been storms so perhaps some are still waiting to go. Here are two poems to two of Navasola’s summer visitors. One who has become a character in my novel and this drawing of him by my artist friend Ruth. His name is Abe Apio and he flies north in a quest to find a cooler place for a Navaselva buff-tailed bumblebee.

By Ruth Konigsberger

Abe Apio the bee-eater of my dreams.

Abe Apio you never leave me

Your brightness stirs my words

As your story moves me to write

Of your struggle to save

Not just bees.

Red rump swallow recovering from being stunned and ready to fly off.

You Can Not Keep a Swallow in a Zoo

This child delights in her own toy zoo,

A gorilla and tiger stalking through

A mat of savannah tufted strands.

A plastic fence surrounds a zebra.

A lion lies down with a flamingo.

The sun beats through a round bay window

Of a neat corner house with stained glass

Swallows at the front door and on the wall.

All this made the warmth of summer kind

In a chilly northern seaside town.

And this child did not know

What she knows now.

You can not keep a swallow in a zoo.

Now she counts the swallows as so few fly by.

The ones with red rump feathers preened

Prefer these southern lands with barns,

And ruins of long ago times,

Where with martins and swifts.

Built nests under old tiled roofs.

With holes and  a rural disregard

For cleanliness that bleaches bare all life.

We thought some swallows might adorn our porch

But one hit a window and took a time

To fly again high enough to see

The windows of heaven

Where the ark is waiting.

Each poem conforms to my challenge to write 26 poems for the 26 miles of the London marathon which was not run this year and many charities have lost vital funds. A poem will either have 26 words and be haiku inspired or 26 lines. Each poem will be about different species found around Navasola.

My charity is the Royal Society for Protection of Birds and  their links with Birdlife International. Please help them help the birds that know no borders. Much work has gone on to protect habitats and raise awareness of the importance of birds to the balance of nature. The decline in bird numbers and in particular swallows is worrying.


Poem 19. A Socially distanced hoopoe. Poetry challenge of 26 poems for Nature.

Hoopoe visiting Navasola in Autumn

Abubilla in Spanish, Upupa epops in Latin.



 So much is changing and Autumn is upon us again. This hoopoe visited close to the Navasola house last Autumn. Where has the year gone? Usually with lots of activity, things to do and most important people to see and be with. I am trying to catch up with that at the moment amidst covid anxieties and rules for ever changing. Perhaps we need to be wary like the wild ones are. This hoopoe stayed for a while and I enjoyed the time spent together but at a discreet distance and ‘glass’ barrier! I have been thinking of a collection of poems with ‘Sitting on a porch’ observations. But there are also quite a few from looking out of my writing sanctuary window. Rain should also be due next week in our Sierra and most welcome after fires raged south of us for days in the Almonaster region of Huelva.


From Through the Window Poems.

The Visit of the Hoopoe

I see you.

Through the window.

I do not usually see you.

Among the many resident birds.

And those that stay for summer.

You prefer the pines and grasslands.


Not out of the blue but into the green

You arrive to seek to survive

Flash of chestnut, almost unseen

By the wet rocks and moss

Your long beak, slender fills with life

Tiny ants, flitting flies, wriggling worms

Ready to die to give strength to you.

Beneath the Autumn mulch, much squirms

Through the window our eyes follow

Your chestnut feathers, black white bars

A round eye looking, a crown on head

To show you are one of nature’s stars.

You stop to look,to listen hard, to us perhaps?

Trying not to disturb your path through grass

We stumble to remember your elegant steps,

We must focus on and zoom through glass.


Unseen, a barrier between us and the wild that visit

A bird on a journey to a better place

A sudden encounter so camera not ready

But still we draw in so close to your eyes.

I have not yet reached my target. Please help me help nature in these uncertain and challenging times.