This poem was written a few hours after I had left the rainforest. I did not know at the time but it would be the last time I saw my forest for years maybe forever.
Just reading it again brings tears to my eyes.
The splash of water in the foreground was a deadly pyramid of red bellied piranhas, twisting and turning in the river, their red and silver scales shining in the sunlight. They had caught and finished off a hapless victim, maybe one of the yellow kiskadees that had lost its footing on the fallen branches.
I spent many months in the Amazon Rainforest over a number of years. On occasion I spent weeks in my lodge completely alone. I befriended a couple of pairs of Saffron Finches, who kept me company like friendly neighbours.
The finches would visit every day, several times a day and call to me. If I was in a room out of sight the male would perch on a branch on the tree closest to the lodge and call until I came out. Then he would tweet, turning his head this way and that as I spoke to him. The male was yellow with a jaunty orange cap, his mate was a dull greenish brown.
One afternoon I heard the male calling and calling to me. When I came out, I was surprised to see the female beside him, as she usually preferred to peck on the ground while he tweeted with me. She had nesting material in her beak. I swear they brought it to show me.
I wrote a poem in their honour.