Flare of turquoise, flash of emerald
swifter than the eye can see
glare from windows, crash of impact
lifeless body, spirit free
Earlier this evening, a beautiful Kotare flew smack-bang into our living room window. It lay senseless on the grass, and my heart sank. I gently retrieved it and placed it on a bed of soft wood shavings in a clean cardboard box.
When I checked an hour or so later, the body hadn’t moved. It was limp and warm, but clearly, dead. I’d been hoping it was merely stunned, and would wake up, ready to fly (as has happened with other birds that have flown into our windows).
Poor little bird. It lay there so perfectly, its plumage iridescent in the light.
E rere te kōtare
ki runga pūwharawhara
kei mate i te ua.
up onto the clump of Pūwharawhara.
Shake the raindrops from your wings
lest you catch a chill.
(Verse from Tīhore Mai te Rangi, Hirini Melbourne, c. 1978)