As the kingfisher flies, all time is caught in a flash, right now, its turquoise brilliance is immediate
— and fleeting — for the kingfisher, local phoenix, shines blue only
when its feathers are touched by sunlight.
As the kite flies, all time is slowed in an ancient arc,
the wheeling of aeons in its wings, its glide basks in the air even after
the kite has swung further off, and always so.
As the kingfisher sees it, bird of the rivers, there are memory pools,
sweet and sudden, golden sun on the Usk at evening,
water purling pure round circles in the sandstone.
As the kite sees it, bird of the hills, the mountains are stoop-shouldered, slow as myth,
making humans seem like minnows, so one lifetime is just
a glimpse, a blink in their long-sighted horizons
Wherever you are in the Beacons, your eyes are drawn to the hills,
the sweep of clear austere lines and your ears hear the authority of the older language,
hefted to Cymraeg as sheep are hefted to their hill.
If the hills are old, the rivers are always new, drawing young children and sleekened otters
playful as the Usk is young or the Monnow;
named in Cymrawg Myn-wy, ‘swift water’: quickwater fit for a kingfisher’s speed
Between the kingfisher and the kite you can hear your way among the trees:
here the light and leafy ash, its soft feathers whispering the wind;
there the heavier patois of oak, leaves like leather.
In the woodlands, the tiny look-at-me flowers, lesser celandine, wood anenome and saxifrage
and everywhere, the chlorophyll, crazy for the sun, greening, grinning,
turning light to life like child’s play.
After the kingfisher and the kite unwing for the night, come
the bats and moths, the badgers, the nightjars, and the owls.
The river night-smiles for miles as it navigates by the stars.
On the high hills by night, when the moon is within touching distance, a little bit of stardust,
taking for a moment human form, lies on her back and gazes up