Philippines, March 2023
If heat has an anthem, perhaps it is something like this:
Coppersmith barbet, singing stories of feathered things in the land we call the Philippines. Birds know it better than we ever will, swooping and squabbling over trees that seem to be standing on tiptoes to outdo each other.
Past durian stalls and stray dogs, over telephone wires and construction sites.
Living their lives, learning their land, even as the millions of people in Mindanao do the same. In the heat and the hubbub, amidst the jeepneys and basketball courts, and the birds remain wild, but perched on the apparatus of humanity – or on the plants that we are pleased to provide.
Asian glossy starling
And the durian tree watches on, its fruits ready to fall.