Treasure Island

Daleen Enslinstrydom

(25-02-1967 / Springs, South Africa)

The grey ibis


With a loud cry that cuts
right through the silence of suburban life
an ibis flies into my sight
and lands gracefully on the front lawn.

For a while it stands there
like a glazed statue on its long legs
and looks like a elegant dancer
when it bows forward
with its long neck and pecks into the soil
where it looks for something to eat
and tries to find a snail or an earthworm.

It waddles off with its oval shaped body
and almost disappears into the flower bed
where I only notice it
as it flies up into the sun
to land upon the roof of our house.

In that moment this bird has a metamorphosis
and with the sun behind it,
it is almost as if it is illuminated
and it shines like the inside of a seashell
and the pearly colours
transforms this bird
that looked somewhat grey
into a kaleidoscope of colours
and it has a pearly pink on its breast,
and the whole bird shimmers
with the golden tones of bronze
and the wingtips has a kind of indigo blue
changing to crimson as the sun reflects on it
and it’s as if the radiance of the sun
is captured in this bird

and this image takes me back
to small hands turning a mussel shell
in wonder at the colours hidden within
as God does sometimes hide
an amazing kind of glory
to the unobservant eye.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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