Feathered fiend

30 August 2011 § 5 Comments

One for sorrow

A fan of piebald primaries
Crow-picked, sun-stiffened
Woven through the rough grass of the headland.

Another woodpigeon
Downed by the hawk
Then butchered by Reynard

Or so I thought.
Until I caught
A single feather’s blue-green sheen

Shining like oil on water,
The glint in the keeper’s eye.
One for sorrow. Hello, Magpie.

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§ 5 Responses to Feathered fiend

  • slpmartin says:

    Nature’s balance sometimes seems cruel…but better than what man has done to nature.

  • Ina says:

    Birds, they are beautiful but also killers. Magpies and crows kill other birds chickens. Nature is not always sweet.

    The birds in our ‘garden’ (too small to call it that) are lovely to watch while they take a bath and eat the cherries (wish they had finished them, so I can hang my laundry there again) and it is hard to think their offspring is butchered.

    I like the shining like oil on water colours, the sort you can’t catch, like birds.

    You thought the fox did it… ?

  • belfastdavid says:

    Magpies come to visit the tree outside my window every morning. I always say “Good moring Mr. Magpie” as I was taught to do when I was a youngster. Although I have no real idea whether it is Mr. or Mrs. or even Master or Miss for that matter. Whatever, they are very welcome visitors So I can share your upset Nick.
    Nonetheless it serves to remind us that the real world of nature is not the idyll portrayed on chocolate box lids.
    And the hawk, if nothing else, is a beautiful bird.


  • This is sad, but that is nature.

    All creatures are beautiful in their own way, but the have to survive.

    I’m afraid I sometimes still live in the world of children’s books where the animals wear aprons and bake apple pies!!

    I also love the line about the feather “shining like oil on the water”.

    Take care


  • tikarmavodicka says:

    I found this a beautiful portrait on the delicate balance that exists in nature.
    The surface of nature always seems so serene but I guess that serenity is so because of the checks and balances nature hands out to keep it so.

    I have many hawks near where I live. At this time of year there are many territory wars between magpies, hawks and ravens. Beautiful birds indeed, all of them but I don’t like the politics especially when it results in a downed bird now unable to fly…Nature can indeed be cruel.

    I collect feathers too so I was very taken with your closing stanzas.


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