poetry and prose about place

a gulp of swallows

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The days are warm and humid. The nights offer compensating cool. The gardens are full of produce and, yesterday, we made our first stop at a roadside stand to get apples. People say “feels like fall.” On the weather channel they call this “hurricane season.”  We turn the calendar on the kitchen wall to September.


Fall is a month away, but the birds know the time of year. They flock with a sense of urgency, even desperation.


A flock of swallows is called a ‘flight’ or a ‘gulp.’


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barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)


Flight of swallows

against blue sky

gapes, as thousands

thicken cables,

telephone lines,

weather reports,

gossip. Feels like

fall. Birds follow

clues of day length,


scarcity of food.

Gulp of swallows

expands, contains

every straggler.



Copyright Jane Tims 2019


All my best,



Written by jane tims

September 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

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