Gradually, over the course of a year, their numbers have dwindled. The grey city pigeons, the wood pigeons;
the thrushes and wagtails. The flock of white doves, descendants of those once housed in the dovecot here.
After it was removed they learnt to raised their young in the creeper that covers the building.
A couple still linger on the roofs with this year’s pale fledgings. Uncertain, confused; displaced refugees.
singing in the night, flying shy, a pair of blackbirds,
They hesitate on the borders, unable to
quit this place.
This makeshift refuge is for these that remain. Barely a framework, the ghost of a building.
Such is the impermanence of shelter, of safety; the fragility of the place we call home.
Turl Street Arts Festival, Exeter College, Oxford,
8’x18”x24” silver birch, olive leaves, silver wire.
February 15 -22 2009
the last fledgling