Image by Caroline Forbes

Birdshooting Season

BIRDSHOOTING SEASON

Birdshooting season the men
make marriages with their guns
My father’s house turns macho
as from far the hunters gather

All night long contentless women
stir their brews: hot coffee
chocolata, cerassie
wrap pone and tie-leaf
for tomorrow’s sport. Tonight
the men drink white rum neat.

In darkness shouldering
their packs, their guns, they leave

We stand quietly on the
doorstep shivering. Little boys
longing to grow up birdhunters too
Little girls whispering:
Fly Birds Fly.


from Talking of Trees (Calabash, 1985), copyright© Olive Senior 1985, used by permission of the author.

Recordings

Olive Senior Reading from her Poems

1Moon

2Rejected Text for a Tourist Brochure

3Leaving Home

4Embroidery

5Lacemaker

6The Birth of Islands

7The Secret of Flying Close to the Sun Without Melting Wings

8Peacock Tale 2

9Rooster

10Hen

11Guinea Hen

12The Pull of Birds

13Meditation on Red

14Hurricane Story 1904

15Hurricane Story 1988

16Starapple

17Pineapple

18Guava

19Guinep

20Bamboo 4

21Brief Lives

22My Father's Blue Plantation

23Meditation on Yellow

24Gastropoda

25Shelter

26Garden Snail

27Hurricanes

28Join the Dots

29Shell

30A Superficial Reading

31Colonial Girls School

32Birdshooting Season

33Hurricane Watch

34Dead Straight