Furious love

This is for TJ’s Household Haiku prompt. I hope haibun is included. The poem is inspired by watching a sparrowhawk trying to catch a peregrine falcon that had stolen a fledgling from its nest in the church spire.

The prompt words are Well & Sweet.

Photo ©Dr Raju Kasambe

1024px-Eurasian_Sparrowhawk_Accipiter_nisus_by_Dr._Raju_Kasambe_DSC_4710_(5)

 

There are no words, just cries of rage to scream the injustice of it all. What images unfurl behind the yellow irised eyes of the hawk robbed of her young? Red rage or white-fluffed memories of wide-beaked young? I watch with feet anchored in the clay, the aerial tragedy of loss and grief, and rage and hunger, and instinctive urges. Perhaps the falcon has young of his own and makes no difference between the pigeon squab and the future raptor. His wing beats, smooth as water, steel and silver in the sun, twist and turn, a feathered cascade, to beat off the smaller bird. And all the while, the short, final stretch of life, the mother screams, heads lift to see, and the baby dangles, helpless from the peregrine’s claws. Does it strain to see its mother’s furious, desperate flight, and does it hope, even a little bit, that a mother will prevail against death?

Clear as well water,

the sky, silver-barred and plumed,

sweet as honeyed dusk.

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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

38 thoughts on “Furious love”

      1. i know they’ve been changing thinks in the programming, i having trouble load, or you could say installing their on any of those computers where the apps was free…

  1. Great piece as always, Jane. I just had to comment and say “What a scene that was for you to watch unfurl!”. Wasn’t sure things like that truly came about in real life… You’re not, by chance, a character in a book who needs a timely visual metaphor for injustice and maternal fury are you?

    1. I think the people watching all felt like that, rooting for the mother bird. Could have been the father for all I know, but whatever, it put up a tremendous fight, then screeched in anger (at father being absent, I imagine) and maybe even grief.

    1. It was a very noisy battle, right over the market place. Several of us stood and watched, hoping, completely unreasonably, that the mother would somehow get her baby back. When she eventually gave up, she sat on the very top of the steeple and screamed and screamed.

  2. Great piece, Jane. I once watch a blue jay steal all 4 babies from a robin’s nest while the parents were out hunting food. It was heartbreaking to see the parents return and circle and circle trying to comprehend what had happened.

    1. It affects our sense of injustice when babies are taken. To lose all of them we assume must be tragic. Last year a cat got into our garden over the wall one night and the four blackbird chicks in the nest on the ladder (yes, stupid place to build a nest) leapt out and scattered all over the place. I went out in my nightdress with son to help, and we tried to catch them and put them back in the nest. Of course they wouldn’t stay put. In the morning they were all dead. The cat wasn’t interested in the birds, just wanted a bit of human attention, but the babies either died of exhaustion or drowned in the water butt.

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