November 17

This drab, dull day

Its natural sounds subdued by drizzle

Are cut through by her sharp cry above

Kehwee! Kehwee!

To her mate unseen, but somewhere near

Stirred up, crows lift from dark hearts of oaks

Gather as a loose assembled mob

A flight of five, or six, or more

Rough circle spreading, all alert

Seeking out the closing threat

Her superior gliding flight now disturbed

Rattling croaks at her wings and tail

She adjusts direction with a flicker

Stretches primaries to the furthest tips

And across the tree-marked hedgerows she slips

Sharply scanning the long-since mown

Damp pastures that spiral below


CLP 17/11/2019

On the Fence (II)

Post top comes alive

Grows broad, fingered wings, talons

Shadow spreads then drops


n.b. The motorway fences on the A6 through France are adorned with sunlit totems. These large birds of prey are decorated in patterned coats of browns and creams.

Some are buzzards, some look like ospreys, which I know are fishing raptors associated with water. This is the time they migrate southwards, so is it possible they take a rest as they travel towards north Africa and beyond? It is a perching bird near water.

Following further research, I understand that these lighter coloured birds are possibly buzzards going through a “pale phase“. Osprey definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Osprey definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

CLP 04/10/2019

On Thermals

Roundels on fanned wings

Clockwise spiral up on high

In sight; out of reach


n.b. A buzzard new to this part of the country, with distinctive creamy roundels, eventually disappeared from view high above, ascending on a rising pocket of hot air, (that brought some gulls drifting in from the coast). The buzzard soared with its primary feathers extended.

I have never seen such markings as these roundels on a buzzard. She will be easily recognised should she ever return here; should she ever return to Earth.


CLP 21/05/2019


The busy vole busies herself

Scurries amongst leaf litter

Keeps herself clean

Feeds her young

Whilst far above

Handsomely dressed, preened

Strong, angular, sleek

Magnificent hunter

With oh so to die for eyes

Fire streaked

Focuses on the tidy movements

Identifies and assesses

The challenge

And waits

Hangs on the wind

In familiar territory

Happily being busy

The vole naīve

Despite her globular eyes

Will barely see until too late

That she has been

Targeted, circled, cornered.

Flight, fight or freeze?

Voiceless, useless, helpless


CLP 26/11/2018

n.b. Rapere is Latin meaning to take by force, to seize from which the words raptor and rapist derive



Off tops of greening trees

Across fresh flowering fields

Over rushing muddied streams

I hear her.

The broad expanse of

Verdant chalk down rolling

Rounded curves and valleys

Carry her voice.

She wheels above

Unseen against high bright sun

In glaring blue

Feathered fingers, arc’d wings

Float in thermal pools

Circular drifting

Her broadcast presence

Pierces the vivid canopy

Slices uncurling bracken

Stabs sticky dank litter

Where others’ ears

Who know this buzzard’s crying

Freeze in fear.

CLP 02/04/18

This poem is dedicated to George Monbiot