Bird control

Photo ©Sébastien Bertru



A hen harrier circles the ploughed field, circles and

circles then swoops, and a flock of pigeons rises in a


compact, silvery glittering flutter, wheeling circling,

compact and glittering. Pigeon panic circles and flutters


away from the field drawn back again by the knowledge

of food, circling, in silver flutters beneath the golden sun.


The harrier, having missed the kill waits circling and

circling, drawing a crow family, sensing a fight, settling


in noisy mob pose in the trees. Pigeons panic a silver

cloud over the poplars, wheeling away and back while


crows wait and harrier watches. Over the ploughed

field the silver circling cloud flutters, sinks and settles


and the harrier is there, a pale, ghost-winged presence.

Crow mob clatters into flight, their ragged wings


clutching the air like hands clawing as they pivot on

nothing, yelling and snapping six black-cloaked


mobsters rattling beak blows and claws, circling,

wheeling, rising up beneath dropping from above,


fearless and aggressive. The hen harrier harried

mercilessly spreads pale wings, black-tipped and floats


away, leaving the silver cloud scattered among the furrows

and the black-cloaked vigilantes masters of the winter air.

gogyohka for a scarecrow

A gogyohka sequence for Frank Tassone’s weekly challenge


in the field

a tattered man

of sticks and rags

silent stands beneath a sky

heavy with crows


heavy clay the orange earth

and sky grey

slicked with orange light

furrowed field full of crows

no bundle of sticks will scare


I watch you

with your helpless hands

and sightless face

that feels neither sun nor rain

scorned even by the birds

Crow’s feat


Sky is blue

above the placid river,


crow flaps,

searching the rushes

for quiet death.


Such a burden to carry

among sleek black plumes,

sheen of sun and river glitter,

and with every slow flap flap

the portents scatter

like ashes

in the eyes of the wary world.


Ages old, the dark eyes,

bright as jet beads,

have seen the grass grow where forests sprang

and run red with battlefield blood.

Crow tears a strip of carrion,

cleans the river bank of untidy death

and slips sleek as a seal

into the eternal blue sky.

Crows and pearls

Three short poems linked by a theme. It was four, but the fourth is longer.




The pearl-eyed girl

Lies where currents swirl

And green darkness presses.

Hand reaching for the light

She plucks at broken moonbeams

Lost in deep waters.


Crow picks the pearls

from dead fish’s eyes

a necklace for a nest

in a crown of twigs

sea-bright rings

for dead wood fingers.


Bird-bright beads

Moon pale

In shifting waters

Bathed in green light.

Crow peers

Through the broken mirror

Waits for the ebb tide

To relinquish its treasure.


The following poem is another one that came out of a twitter exchage with Shawn D. Handfast whose blog I suggest you have a look at.

The painting is by Vincent.

Curses turned in the beak of a crow
And spat into the bloody furrow,
Waiting for the blessed rain
To fall in gouts and wash the world clean.
Wind keens the death song in the reeds,
Conjuring crows to cleanse the field,
While seabirds carry the souls of the lost,
In grey wings shrouded soft as dawn.
A deathly quiet falls when all is done,
Even last breaths hang in the trembling air,
Battle crow hops from the leafless ash,
Croaks, raven wise, choosing choicest morsels.
Stripped clean, the field, and only blood
Seeps into the frothing rills,
Released, the souls, to make their way,
To the door that leads to bliss beyond the sorrowing lands.
Wild women tear their hair with hopeless grief,
Reaching desolate, empty hands,
While pale shades soar, crow-cursed, gull-borne,
Through the open door among the clouds,
To fields, horse-running and green as life,
Beyond the reach of human tears.

Even the dark


Even the dark before the dawn will end,
And light pour through the cracked horizon.
Only in the empty rooms of my heart
Does it linger, black flood water pooling.
Rags of night and ragged night birds,
Hoarse-voiced with wings that smother,
Flap in discordant procession,
Round and round the echoing halls,
Bluebottles on a piece of rotting meat,
Where once the air hummed gold and sweet,
With your words of never ending love.