Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Day The Dunnock Died




Little soul in a grey chest
You died in my hand
Once you sang for spring
And flew on those dun wings under the sun

Today you trembled at the roadside
And lay your last heartbeat in my palm
Your graphite claws clasped in prayer as you left.
Here is my pencil prayer to you.








94 comments:

tree shadow moon said...

x

Alice ~ writer, dreamer, traveller ~ said...

how sad that such beautiful singing should be cut short this Spring, but how wonderful that this little bird died with such a creative soul as yourself x

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh how sad, your drawing is beautiful, lovely too to see such close details of the feathers in the photos

Catherine said...

A sad story and a beautiful drawing.

Valerianna said...

Beautiful, sensitive drawing... and the praying feet words you have written... I wasn't allowed access to the page to hear the song, We don't have Dunnocks here in the US, I'll try to find the song somewhere.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Oh, little Dunnock....dead but living on as art.

Heather said...

Poor little bird - it couldn't have known much about what happened and doesn't appear to be injured. Your lovely words and beautiful drawings are a fitting tribute to an exquisite little creature. Sad that we only get a chance to see them a such close quarters when they are dead.

Linda Byrd said...

so poignant. You've transformed its death into beauty.

Sarah said...

That is so sad but so beautiful too. I am glad it was you who found the little bird, so at least he is properly remembered and he wasn't alone when he died.

whitey said...

your photos and drawing are wonderful, love the detail those little feet.

Kitty said...

I am watching one in the garden just now as I type. The little birds have all too short a life.

doro said...

I admire Yor drawings, but it's so sad! Wonderful pictures, works !

Melly Bee said...

What a beautiful bird-one of my Dads favourites and vunerable as a ground feeder. How sweetly your poetic prayer will have soothed its soul. Bless youxx

Possible Impossibilities Studio said...

Yours is a beautiful tribute. I'm sure little Dunnock thanks you from the other side.

Tess said...

Poignant and so very beautiful.

Deb said...

Exquisite, felt to the bone and heartbreaking. Small lives should touch us deeply, living and gone.

FishStikks said...

What a sweet little bird and I agree that it was with you that his dying will not go unnoticed.

Beautiful work as always Rima!!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

It chose your hand to draw it's last breath, knowing it would be cradled and it's spirit kindled whilst passing along on it's journey.
It chose well.

nomadszocmuki said...

Sad day there, and sad day here. My neighbour is a vet and yesterday we just gave her a hand to save a beautiful but poisoned and weak eagle. I will never forget those yellow eyes. Sadly, the eagle could not survive, today morning I have got the bad news.

Velma said...

one less bird, one more drawing. an exchange. an acknowledgment. a tribute.

Éva said...

Rima, it is a place to have a rest, even if I could read a sad story today.
Thanks.
Éva from Hungary

Jessie said...

Beautiful pencilwork :) xx

The Happy Peasant said...

I come in the little things, saith the Lord: Yea, on the glancing wing of softly pattering feet, of furred and gentle beasts. I come in the little things, saith the Lord: Not borne on the morning's wings of majesty, but I have set my feet amidst the delicate and bladed wheat. I come in the little things, saith the Lord. Amen
-E. Underhill

Kit and Kaboodle said...

What a tender passing and fitting tribute. Fate can be so serendipity at times but I can think of no nicer way of honouring the little soul than as you've done here Rima.

Griffin said...

Poor little thing but at least remembered by your drawing. Not any other dunnock, but that particular one. Such a shame to see the last few moments of such a harmless little soul.

The Rainbow Dreaming said...

In death there is beauty, just as there is in life. Exquisite detail and beautiful drawing of the bird. He looks at peace.

Kael Hunt said...

Every creature passes from this life; not every creature gets to do so in caring hands.

Reema B. said...

Beautiful pictures, poetry, and drawing. Indeed death has its own beauty in the same way life does

Anthropomorphica said...

To die in such a warm and gentle bed, that's a special moment you shared with the little dunnock.

Robson Fernandez said...

Oh that's too sad dear. The birds are just like free souls in our world! I'm happy of course, that you were so gentle to him!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Poor little thing.
Such a miracle.

chinecats said...

You're drawing is amazing! So much detail! A fitting tribute to a beautiful bird, so often overlooked by the bright colours of other garden birds. I rescued a long-tailed tit from the midle of the road last year. Cars just driving right over it, poor thing, but luckily it recovered in my garden and flew away.

VQ said...

Lucky Bird. To find such a tender hand to leave it's life.

DrBobUK said...

Flying beyond ...
... and body immortalised.

A plucky spirit moved on from a tiny host ...

DrBobUK said...

Lovely work Rima

krisztina maros said...

so sad day... and a beautiful drawing!

andrea said...

It must be the season ... and I must live in the graveyard of Golden-crowned kinglets. I never see these tiny birds unless they're lying dead in the garden and found one today. I, too, thought about drawing it. Yours is lovely.

Jay said...

This makes me sad - having something die right in your hands. Beautiful drawings.

mama p said...

how rare it is, that we get such a close look at an otherwise fleeting beauty. thank you...

Dyche Designs said...

That is so sad, it brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful pencil prayer that you did.

Katalin said...

how sad and beautiful at the same time! but lucky bird to found your palm to die in...now its passing spirit captured in your lovely drawing!

Anonymous said...

There is a movie named 'All the little animals' where a nice old Hermit, dedicates his life to bury unlucky wild creatures, killed in the roads.

I know you were gentle to the poor creature. God bless you Rima.

rossichka said...

Can we imagine what world would be without birds singing and flying? Today I stopped to watch a birdie who was siniging on a wire up above the road with all its vehicles and noises. I felt happy and relaxed...I have buried a pigeon once and I still remember the feeling of sadness and helplessness... The little bird chose you to be together with during the last moments of its life and your perfect black and white drawings as well as the touching poem are full of so much love and sorrow...

Snippety Giblets said...

I love to read your poems :0) Wonderful drawing and photos too. i t reminded me of the passing of the wren in "The Dark is Rising" - a tiny life and the vastness of death. Beautiful and sorrowful.

Jenny Stevning said...

Gasp! you are the only person I know that gets it - the sweet, dead birds!
"Here is my pencil prayer to you."
Be still my heart!!!

Leslie said...

How sad, how lovely, how heart touching, thank you for sharing it and your paper prayer.

Josh said...

It's odd in the spring, isn't it? Maybe life's just closer at hand in all it's phases this time of year. We just lost a young cat earlier this week with no known cause, and you hit on the same note very well of the experience of a small living thing just passing. Thank you for physically documenting that same state. It's somehow reassuring.

steven said...

we're all little birds. with fragile beautiful bodies, sweet songs, and so very vulnerable. such a beautiful post rima. steven

Owen said...

Rima... but what did he/she die of ? A beauteous little beast...

It just occurred to me that there is an artist whose work you may enjoy, this link is just one page of her blog, but if you have a moment to get there, do take a look around some of her past posts, she does brilliant work... which echoes some of yours...

http://gwenbuchanan.blogspot.com/2008/03/crow-5.html

Shelley Noble said...

Every little bird should get such a tribute as this. Marvelous, Rima.

Meg said...

Poor little fellow. I had one of my cockatiels die right in front of me once and another a wild turkey expired in my lap on the way to the veterinarian. You have reminded me of a particular Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin contemplates a dead sparrow. Beautiful tribute. It was done right.

femminismo said...

Wonderful drawing. I found a bird at the end of winter that had died. It didn't get a spring this year. So sad.

Dia said...

Poor little beautiful thing...

JCelestial said...

Touching. This reminded me of a poem by Australian poet A D Hope 'The Death Of The Bird' ...

"And darkness rises from the eastern valleys,
And the winds buffet her with their hungry breath,
And the great earth, with neither grief not malice,
Receives the tiny burden of her death."

Priya said...

Your drawing reminds me of Durer's etchings. I also like the photograph with the details of the claw.

A mermaid in the attic said...

A pencil prayer...how beautiful and how perfect.

Emerald Window said...

Greetings,
Your pencil prayer was a wonderful way to honor this beautiful little creature. Your photos were wonderful as well. The one of his tiny feet makes them look almost like jewelry. Mother Nature obviously has lit your heart.
Cenya

Andrew Finnie said...

Hello Rima?

Poor bird. But in dying it spurred such lovely work.

In death happiness? Maybe.

Just wanted to say that your art is very amazing, sinusoidal. Medieval and honest to the roots.

There's not many with such talent.

Keep sharing. Thankyou. You do us kindness.

jodi said...

A perfect kind of prayer, Rima.

laoi gaul~williams said...

what a wonderful prayer for the little dunnock and i am glad it was you with him/her
xoxoxo

Ces said...

I am sorry Rima. This is so sad yet so beautiful.

Catherine said...

Rima,

I thought you might like to look at these wonderful Gypsy Caravans in ETSY http://www.etsy.com/shop/Centaur1201

Jeri Landers said...

It may seem horrid, but when I find little dead creatures ( usually the casualties of my murderess felines), I wrap them carefully and put them in a freezer. I know that Tasha Tudor did the same. I have been able to retrieve birds, chipmunks and squirrels when I need an accurate model for my artwork. I feel as though, in some strange way, I am immortalizing the little dears.... I guess it is the least one can do.

mermaiden said...

alas for mortality, and The Wheel turning.

PepperPi said...

This moved me to tears...not just the death of a little creature but the beautiful words you wrote and the respect and love you showed by your pencil prayer.

Clair

Joe Beale said...

Poor Dunnock... but a beautiful tribute by you.

Happy to find you blog, really great stuff on here, but I've only had a quick glance and I will have to look at it properly! All the best, Joe.

ramidonya said...

Thank you Rima. Your work resonates with me so much, and often your life too...this little poignant tribute to life and death is so well timed in a sad week for me.

And our names are mirrors of each other's!

From
Rami

Cold.Fire said...

What a beautiful little creature... it always makes me so sad to find little animals who became unlucky somehow. Lovely drawing, you captured him wonderfully.

tordute said...

RIP little bird... but you'll always stay alive thanks to Rima and her beautiful drawing :)
Sorry for my bad English... I just want to say I love your work and your universe. It's always a real pleasure to look at your blog.

Michelle said...

So beautiful...

Jayne said...

What a lovely tribute. x

Autumn Alchemy said...

Beautiful pencil work here. Its good to get studies from life(or death!) as often as possible. Im sure the little guy is very touched... Your blog is just magical to look through.

Wildmud said...

We should all have such a fitting eulogy.

Sup! said...

RIP Dunnock!

mixdbrew said...

What a beautiful gift for your dying friend. He'll come back to you with another song, another day :)

Carolee said...

Your drawing of him is prayer indeed, just beautiful.

~ Carolee

Cheryl Pass said...

This is a sweet eulogy for a darling bird. I have done just such a thing..held a bird in my hand after it crashed into a window and broke its neck...and felt the warmth disappear as it died. A tug at the heart. Glad you did the drawing...it's lovely!!

Pam Aries said...

Your rendering is amazing!

dancingbeastie said...

what an exquisite elegy.

dancingbeastie said...

PS, I have added a link to your blog from mine - but realise I should have asked your permission first. I hope you don't mind but I will remove it if you prefer...

anewday said...

so sweet, so dear, so tiny, I know his voice was huge in life

marcia cardeal said...

Many thanks for all these beauty!.... I love your art! kisses from Brazil

Melanie said...

Poor thing. A very fitting tribute. Summer Crow is back from the framers- did a pic of them all together and a link to here. They look utterly gorgeous together. Thank you.

Lindsey said...

Lovely Rima. It's amazing how structured his breast feathers are. I always imagine vague feathering there but it's clearly a very particular arrangement. X

Graceful Moments said...

It always makes me sad to see birds die. They bring such joy with their beauty and their songs. Lovely that he/she will live on in your fine drawing.

Vickie said...

So sad! However, such a wonderfully intricate drawing to memorialize one little bird.

Tres Crow said...

This post reminded me of the Neko Case song, "Maybe Sparrow," which I've been listening to a lot lately.

"Maybe sparrow you should wait
The hawks alight till morning
You'll never pass beyond the gate
If you don't hear my warning

Notes are hung so effortless
With the rise and fall of sparrow's breast
It's a drowning dive and back to the chorus

La di da di da di da
La di da di da di da

Oh my sparrow it's too late
Your body limp beneath my feet
Your dusty eyes cold as clay
You didn't hear my warning

Maybe sparrow it's too late
Moonlight glanced off metal wings
In a thunderstorm above the clouds
The engine hums a sparrow's phrase
For those who cannot hear the words
For those who cannot hear the words
For those who will not hear the words

La di da di da di da
La di da di da di da

Maybe sparrow
Maybe sparrow"

Interesting. Wonderful post, and the poem is gorgeous, especially the line about the bird's claws clasped in prayer. It gave me chills.

Kaye Turner said...

Well, at commenter no. 88, you may not get to read this far down the list, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed finding your blog (via Jude). Thank you; you have a truly amazing place here.

Margaret said...

I think you are an angel sent to earth, the way you describe the death of this little creature, so touching and your drawings above are treasures. Very gifted.

Anonymous said...

oh this moved me very deeply. Poor little thing. Few people take time to think about the small creatures and their lives and deaths.

Lydia said...

I am crying. Your drawing of the precious bird who died in your hand (and the poem for it) are touching almost beyond belief.

ALeks said...

Hi Sweet girl,Im glad your friend could be at the palm of your hand when the last bit of his little heart went away,under the winds win gs,your precious soul knows the secret of the whispering tree tops and you are so gifted to be able to make such a tribute,wonderful!!
Warm hugs and greetings from me!Take care!

by Joanna DeVoe said...

Let me get in the very long line to tell you how utterly amazing your blog is. The art work, the words, the photos... it's ALL so charming. Special. Special. Special. I said a lil prayer of my own for this lil bird too this morning- You've made him a rock star! He will be remembered now and, obviously, so will you.

Sylvie said...

I can't believe I found your blog, just stumbled upon it, and I'm so glad I did.

You are amazing in that you took the time to "feel" for this little bird, to photograph it, draw it, and write a beautiful poem.

A long time ago, two lovely little wrens slammed into my windows. One died instantly, the other died in my hands. I cried. I went to work and shared the story with a friend. I never said I cried, but she said, "...and you cried, didn't you?" I'm glad I cried.

Your blog is wonderful and your artwork is beautiful!