Terns

Crunching east on stony beach

With the westerly

Encouraging me to move along

With uncalled for shoves to my spine

Like an impatient copper

Clearing an unruly popular terrace

Causing me to stumble

As I stagger on loose pebbles

Waves tumble in

Wash through shingle

The rage of sea repressed

By this burly bully at our backs

My lips licked by briny spray

Sunglasses spotted with tear-salt smears

Ears wind-burnt

The white noise of breaking horses

Fills the air, all but deafens

Except

Clear and shrill like blue-lighting sirens

Heading into battle

Against the insistent blows

With scratchy screeches

Wings like knives

Cutting through

Slicing and dicing

Contradicting the force

They stick to their intended course

Zigger-zagger dancing

Toward the setting sun

.

CLP 23/05/2020

The Mournful Call of Red Kite Chicks

Out of the pines tilted on the tip of the ridge

Wheezy cries limp across the heath

Sounds of an aged asthmatic held hostage in a loose bed of twigs

Drawing out creaky breaths in a sickly rhythm

Plaintive, pathetic pleas for attention from a speechless chest

On an open ward where the staff are busy

Taking a coffee, or answering less urgent emails

Where the breathing apparatus has been shut off

And nature’s course is entering the final turn

~

CLP 25/07/2020

Rookworms

Clouds of oily birds

Floated down from the pine clump

Shadowed the low field

~

Cows and calves bemused

At pasture blackened with crows

Jackdaws and bleak rooks

~

Settled frozen still

Hundreds came and stood alert

For movement of soil

~

The gloomy flock stirred

Disturbed by wind-blown phantom

Hung on breaths of wind

~

Returned as a shroud

For emergent May Bug grubs

From rain-soaked soil

~

CLP 04/07/2020

Starlings

Hear that?

The deranged fluting

Of squabbling neighbours

In hedgerows, on bushes

Ceaseless bickering

An endless stream

Of chiding and chipping

Away one moves

The others follow

From pillar to post

To willow to fence

Unable to let rest

Whatever the matter be

Resolved or not

There’s always more to add

Or subtract from what’s already said

Not happy until everyone’s unhappy

Are the anti-sociable

Flocking, mocking starlings

.

CLP 30/05/2020